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The Gift of
Frederick W. Damon
' ilAKLES DICKENS.
a, tali: or \w, .thes
SI! IV TO UK:
M)\ AND COMPANY.
A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
SHELDON AND COMPANY.
St of (JongroM, In the yisu 1863, by
a th» Olok'i Offlm of Eh* District Court of tha Diilrkt of HunahwH*.
3 f Google
A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
CONTENTS OF VOLUME I.
BOOK THE FIRST.
RECALLED TO LIFE.
The Period T
The Mail 11
The Night Shadows 19
The Preparation 35
The Wine-Shop 41
The Shoemaker 56
BOOK THE SECOND.
THE GOLDEN THREAD.
Five years later Tl
A Sight 80
The Jackal .
Hundreds of People
Monsieur the Marquis in Town
Monsieur the Marquis in the Country
Tho Gorgon's Head
A Companion Picture
The Fellow of Delicacy 1M
The Fellow of No Delicacy 302
The honest Tradesman 308
Still Knitting 8*8
A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
IN THREE BOOKS.
BOOK THE FIRST.
RECALLED TO LIFE.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it
was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it
was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity,
it was the season of Light, it was the season of Dark-
ness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of de-
spair, we had everything before us, we had nothing be-
fore us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all
going direct the other way, — in short, the period was so
fer like the present period, that some of its noisiest an-
thorities insisted on its being received, for good or for
evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
There were a king with a large jaw and a qneen with
a plain face, on the throne, of England ; there were a king
with a large jaw and a qneen with a fair face on the
throne of France. In both countries it was clearer than
crystal to the lords of the State preserves of loaves and
nshes, that things in general were settled forever.
8 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
It was the year of Our Lord one thousand seven
hundred and seventy-live. Spiritual revelations were
conceded to England at that favored period, as at this.
Mrs. Southcott had recently attained her five and-t wen tieth
blessed birthday, of whom a prophetic private in the
Life Guards bad heralded the sublime appearance by
announcing that arrangements were made for the swal-
lowing up of London and Westminster. Even the Cock-
lane ghost had been laid only a round dozen of years,
after rapping out its messages, as the spirits of this very
year last past (supernatu rally deficient in originality)
rapped out theirs. Mere messages in the earthly order
of events had lately come to the English Grown and
People, from a congress of British subjects in America:
which, strange to relate, have proved more important to
the human race than any communications yet received
through any of the chickens of the Cock-lane brood.
France, less favored on the whole-as to matters spirit-
ual than her sister of the shield and trident, rolled with
exceeding smoothness down hill, making paper money
and spending it. Under the guidance of her Christian
pastors, she entertained herself, besides, with such hu-
mane achievements as sentencing a youth to have his
hands cut off, his tongue torn out with pincers, and his
body burned alive, because he had not kneeled down in
the rain to do honor to a dirly procession of monks which
passed within his view, at a distance of some fifty or
sixty yards. It is likely enough that^ rooted in the
woods of France and Norway, there were growing trees,
when that sufferer was put to death, already marked by
the Woodman, Fate, to come down and be sawn into
boards, to make a certain movable framework with a
sack and a knife in it, terrible in history. It is likely
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 9
enough that in the rough outhouses of some tillers of the
heavy lands adjacent to Paris, there were sheltered from
the weather that very day, rude carts, bespattered with
rustic mire, snuffed about by pigs, and roosted in by
poultry, which the Farmer, Death, had already set apart
to be his tumbrils of the Revolution. But, that Wood-
man and that Farmer, though they work unceasingly,
work silently, and no one heard tbem as they went about
with muffled tread ; the rather, forasmuch as to entertain
any suspicion that they were awake, was to be atheistical
In England, there was scarcely an amount of order
and protection to justify much national boasting. Daring
burglaries by armed men, and highway robberies, took
place in the capital itself every night; families were
publicly cautioned not to go out of town without remov-
ing their furniture to upholsterers' warehouses for secu-
rity ; the highwayman in the dark was a City tradesman
in the light, and, being recognized and challenged by his
fellow-tradesman whom he slopped in his character of
"the Captain," gallantly shot him through the head and
rode away ; the mail was waylaid by seven robbers, and
the guard shot three dead, and then got shot dead himself
by the other four, "in consequence of the failure of his
ammunition ; " after which the mail was robbed in peace ;
that magnificent potentate, the Lord Mayor of London,
was made to stand and deliver on Tumham Green, by
one highwayman, who despoiled the illustrious creature
in sight of all his retinue ; prisoners in London jails
fought battles with their turnkeys, and the majesty of
the law fired blunderbusses in among them, loaded with
rounds of shot and ball ; thieves snipped off diamond
crosses from the necks of noble lords at Court drawing-
10 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
rooms; musketeers went into St. Giles's, to search for
contraband goods, and the mob fired on the musketeers,
and the musketeers fired on the mob; and nobody
thought any of these occurrences much out of the com-
mon way. In the midst of them, the hangman, ever
busy and ever worse than useless, was in constant requi-
sition ; now, stringing up long rows of miscellaneous
criminals; now, hanging a house-breaker on Saturday
who had been taken on Tuesday ; now, burning people
in the hand at Newgate by the dozen, and now burning
pamphlets at the door of Westminster Hall ; to-day, tak-
ing the life of an atrocious murderer, and to-morrow of
a wretched pilferer who had robbed a farmer's boy of
All these things, and a thousand like them, came to
pass in and close upon the dear old year one thousand
seven hundred and seventy-five. Environed by them,
while the Woodman and the Farmer worked unheeded,
those two of the large jaws, and those other two of the
plain and the fair faces, trod with stir enough, and car-
ried their divine rights with a high hand. Thus did the
year one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five con-
duct their Greatnesses, and myriads of small creatures
— the creatures of this chronicle among the rest — along
the roads that lay before them.
A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
It was the Dover road that lay, on a Friday night
lata in November, before the first of the persons with
whom this history has business. The Dover road lav,
as to him, beyond the Dover mail, as it lumbered up
Shooter's Hill. He walked up-hill in the mire by the
side of the mail, as the rest of the passengers did ; not
because they had the least relish for walking exercise,
under the circumstances, but because the hill, and the
harness, and the mud, and the mail, were all so heavy,
that the horses had three times already come to a stop,
besides once drawing the coach across the road, with the
mutinous intent of taking it back to Blackheatb. Reins
and whip and coachman and guard, however, in combina-
tion, had read that article of war wbicb forbade a purpose
otherwise strongly in favor of the argument, that some
brute animals are endued with Reason ; and the team
had capitulated and returned to their duty.
With drooping heads and tremulous tails, they mashed
their way through the thick mud, floundering and stum-
bling between whiles as if they were falling to pieces at
the larger joints. As often as the driver rested them
and brought them to a stand, with a wary " Wo-ho ! so-
ho then I " the near leader violently shook his head and
everything upon it, — like an unusually emphatic horse,
12 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
denying that the coach could be got up the hill. When-
ever the leader made this rattle, the pasaenger started,
aa a nervous passenger might, and was disturbed in
There was a steaming mist in all the hollows, and it
had roamed in its forlornnesa up the hill, like an evil
spirit, seeking rest and rinding none. A clammy and in-
tensely cold mist, it made ita alow way through the air
in ripples that visibly followed and overspread one an-
other, as the waves of an unwholesome sea might do. It
was dense enough to shut oat everything from the light
of the coach-lamps but these its own workings, and a few
yards of road ; and the reek of the laboring horses
steamed into it, as if they had made It all.
Two other passengers, besides the one, were plodding
up the hill by the side of the mail. All three were
wrapped to the cheek-bones and over the ears, and wore
jack-boots. Not one of the three could have said, from
anything he saw, what either of the other two was like;
and each was hidden under almost as many wrappers
from the eyes of the mind, as from the eyes of the body,
of his two companions. In those days, travellers were
very shy of being confidential on a short notice, for any-
body on the road might be a robber or in league with
robbers. As to the latter, when every posting-house and
ale-house could produce somebody in " the Captain's "
pay, ranging from the landlord to the lowest stable non-
descript, it was the likeliest thing upon the cards. So
the guard of the Dover mail thought to himself, that
Friday night in November one thousand seven hundred
and seventy-five, lumbering up Shooter's Hill, as he
stood on his own particular perch behind the mail, beat-
ing his feet, and keeping an eye and a hand on the arm-
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 13
eliest before him, where a loaded blunderbuss lay at the
top of six or eight loaded horse-pistols, deposited on a
substratum of cutlass.
The Dover mail was in its usual genial position that
the guard suspected the passengers, the passengers sus-
pected one another and the guard, they all suspected
everybody else, and the coachman was snre of nothing
but the horses ; as to which cattle he could with a clear
conscience have taken his oath on the two Testaments
that they were not fit for the journey.
" Wo-ho ! " said the coachman. " So, then I One
more pull and you're at the top, and be damned to you,
for I have had trouble enough to get you to it ! — Joe ! "
" Halloo 1 " the guard replied.
" What o'clock do you make it, Joe ? "
" Ten minutes good, past eleven."
" My blood I " ejaculated the vexed coachman, " and
not atop of Shooter's yet! Tst! Yahl Get on with
The emphatic horse, cut short by the whip in a most
decided negative, made a scramble for it, and the three
other horses followed suit. Once more, the Dover mail
struggled on, with the jack -boots of iW passengers
squashing along by its side. They had stopped when
the coach stopped, and they kept close company with it
If any one of the three had had the hardihood to pro-
pose to another to walk on a little ahead into the mist
and darkness, he would have put himself in a fair way
of getting shot instantly as a highwayman.
The last burst carried the mail to the summit of the
hilL The horses stopped to breathe again, and the
guard got down to skid the wheel for the descent, and
open the coach-door to let the passengers in.
14 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
"Tst! Joe!" cried the coachman in a warning voice,
looking down from Lis box.
"What do you say, Tom I "
They both listened.
" I say a horse at a canter coming up, Joe."
" 1 say a horse at a gallop, Tom," returned the guard,
leaving his hold of the door, and mounting nimbly to hia
place. " Gentlemen 1 Id the king's name, all of you ! "
With this hurried adjuration, he cocked his blunder-
buss, and stood on the offensive.
The passenger booked by this history, was on the
coach-step, getting in; the two other passengers were
close behind him, and about to follow. He remained on
the step, half in the coach and half out of it ; they re-
mained in the road below him. They all looked from
the coachman to the guard, and from the guard to the
coachman, and listened. The coachman looked back,
and the guard looked back, and even the emphatic
leader pricked up his ears and looked back, without
The stillness consequent on the cessation of the rum-
bling and laboring of the coach, added to the stillness of
the night, made it very quiet indeed. The panting of
the horses communicated a tremulous motion to the coach,
as if it were in a state of agitation. The hearts of the
passengers beat loud enough perhaps to be heard ; but
at any rate, the quiet pause was audibly, expressive of
people out of breath, and holding the breath, and having
the pulses quickened by expectation. .
The sound of a horse at a gallop came fast and furi-
ously up the hill.
"So-hol" the guard sang out, as loud as he could
roar. " Yo there 1 Stand ! I shall fire ! "
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. - 15
The pace waa suddenly checked, and, with much
splashing and floundering, a man's voice called from the
mist, " Is that the Dover mail ? "
" Never you mind what it is P " the guard retorted.
■ What are you ? "
" Is that the Dover mail F "
" Why do you want to know ? "
" I want a passenger, if it is."
" What passenger ? "
" Mr. Jarvis Lorry."
Our booked passenger showed in a moment that it was
his name. The guard, the coachman, and the two other
passengers, eyed him distrustfully.
" Keep where you are," the guard called to the voice
in the mist, "because, if I should make a mistake, it
could never be set right in your lifetime. Gentleman of
the name of Lorry answer straight."
"What is the matter?" asked the passenger, then,
with mildly quavering speech. " Who wants me P Is it
(" I don't like Jerry's voice, if it is Jerry," growled
the guard to himself. " He's hoarser than suits me, is
" Yes, Mr. Lorry."
"What is the matter?"
" A despatch sent after you from over yonder. T. and
" I know this messenger, guard," said Mr. Lorry, get'
ting down into the road — assisted from behind more
swiftly than politely by the other two passengers, who
immediately scrambled into the coach, shut the door, and
pulled up the window. " He may come close ; there's ■
16 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
" I hope there a'n't, but I can't make bo 'Nation sure
of that," said the guard, in gruff soliloquy. " Hallo
you ! "
" Well ! And hallo you ! " said Jerry, more hoarsely
" Come on at a footpace ; d'ye mind me ? And if
you're got holsters to that saddle o' yourn, don't let me
see your hand go nigh 'em. For I'm a devil at a quick
mistake, and when I make one it takes the form of
Lead. So now let's look at you."
The figures of a horse and rider came slowly through
the eddying mist, and came to the side of the mail, where
the passenger stood. The rider stooped, and, casting up
his eyes at the guard, handed the passenger a small
folded paper. The rider's horse was blown, and both
horse and rider were covered with mud, from the hoofs
of the horse to the hat of the man.
" Guard ! " said the passenger, in a tone of quiet busi-
The watchful guard, with his right hand at the stock
of his raised blunderbuss, his left at the barrel, and his
eye on the horseman, answered curtly, " Sir."
" There is nothing to apprehend. I belong to Tell-
son's Bank. You must know Tellson's Bank in London.
I am going (o Paris on business. A crown to drink. I
may read this ? "
"If so be as you're quick, sir."
He opened it in the light of the coach-lamp on that
side, and read — first to himself and then aloud : " ' Wait
at Dover for Ma'm'selle.' It's not long, you see, guard.
Jerry, say that my answer was, recalled to life."
Jerry started in his saddle. " That's a Blazing strange
answer, too," said he, at his hoarsest.
A, TALE OF TWO CITIEfl. 17
" Take that message back, and they will know that I
received this, as well as if I wrote. Make the beat of
your way. Good-night."
With those words the passenger opened the coach-door
and got in ; not at all assisted by his fellow-passengers,
who had expeditiously secreted their watches and purses
in their boots, and were now making a general pretence
of being asleep, with no more definite purpose than to
escape the hazard of originating Any other kind of ac-
The coach lumbered on again, with heavier wreaths
of mist closing round it as it began the descent. The
guard soon replaced his blunderbuss in his arm-chest,
and, having looked to the rest of its contents, and having
looked to the supplementary pistols that he wore in bis
belt, looked to a smaller chest beneath his seat, in which
there were a few smith's tools, a couple of torches, and a
tinder-box. For he was furnished with that complete-
ness, that if the coach-lamps had been blown and stormed
out, which did occasionally happen, he had only to shut
himself up inside, keep the flint and steel sparks well off
the straw, and get a light with tolerable safety and ease
(if he were lucky) in five minutes.
" Tom ! " softly over the coach-roof.
■ Hallo, Joe."
" Did you hear the message ? "
" I did, Joe."
" What did you make of it, Tom ? "
" Nothing at all, Joe."
"* That's a coincidence, too,". the guard mused, "for I
made the same of it myself."
Jerry, left alone in the mist and darkness, dismounted
meanwhile, not only to ease his spent horse, but to wipe
18 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
the mud from his face, and shake the wet out of his hat-
brim, which might be capable of holding about half a
gallon. After standing with the bridle over bis heavily-
splashed arm, until the wheels of the mail were no longer
within hearing and the night was quite still again, he
turned to walk down the hill.
"After that there gallop from Temple-bar, old lady, I
won't trust your fore-legs till I get you on the level,"
said this hoarse messenger, glancing at his mare. " ' Re-
called to life.' That's a Blazing strange message. Much
of that wouldn't do for you, Jerry! I say, Jerry!
You'd be in a Blazing bad way, if recalling to life was
to come into fashion, Jerry 1 " *
A. TALE OF TWO CITIES.
THX MIGHT SHADOWS.
A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human
creature is constituted to be that profound secret and
mastery to every other. A solemn consideration, when
I enter a great city by night, that every one of those
darkly clustered houses encloses its own secret ; that
every room in every one of them encloses its own secret ;
that every beating heart in the hundreds of thousands of
breasts there, is, in some of its imaginings, a secret to
the heart nearest it I Something of the awnilness, even
of Death itself, is referable to this. No more can I turn
the leaves of this dear book that I loved, and vainly hope
in time to read it all. No more can I look into the
depths of this unfathomable water, wherein, as momen-
tary lights glanced into it, I have had glimpses of buried
treasure and other things submerged. It was appointed
that the book should shut with a spring, forever and for-
ever, when I had read but a page. It was appointed
that the water should be locked iu an eternal frost, when
the light was playing on its surface, and I stood in igno-
rance on the shore. My friend is dead, niy neighbor is
dead, my love, the darling of my soul, is dead j it is the
inexorable consolidation and perpetuation of the secret
that was always in that individuality, and which I shall
carry in mine to my life's end. In any of the burial-
80 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
places of this city through which I pass, ia there a sleeper
more inscrutable than its busy inhabitants are, in their
innermost personality, to me, or than I am to them ?
As to this, his natural and not to be alienated inheri-
tance, the messenger on horseback had exactly the same
possessions as the King, the first Minister of Slate, or the
richest merchant in London. So with the three passen-
gers shut up in the narrow compass of one lumbering
old mail-coach ; they were mysteries to one another, as
complete as if each had been in his own coach and six,
or his own coach and sixty, with the breadth of a county
between him and the next.
The messenger rode back at an easy trot, stopping
pretty often at ale-houses by the way to drink, but evin-
cing a tendency to keep his own counsel, and to keep his
hat cocked over his eyes. He had eyes that assorted
very well with that decoration, being of a surface black,
with no depth in the color or form, and much too near
together — as if they were afraid of being found out in
something, singly, if they kept too far apart. They had
a sinister expression, under an old cocked-hat like a
three-cornered spittoon, and over a great muffler for the
chin and throat, which descended nearly to the wearer's
knees. When he stopped for drink, be moved this
muffler with his left baud, only while he poured his
liquor in with his right ; as soon as that was done, he
" No, Jerry, no I " said the messenger, harping on one
theme as he rode, "It wouldn't do for. you, Jerry.
Jerry, you honest tradesman, it wouldn't suit yowr line
of business! Recalled -1 Bust me if I don't think
he'd been a-drinking 1 "
His message perplexed his mind to that degree that
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 21
be wns fain, several times, to take off bis bat to scratch
his bead. Except on the crown, which was raggedly
bald, he had stiff, black hair, standing jaggedly all over
it, and growing down-hill almost to his broad, blnnt nose.
It was so like smith's work, so much more like the top
of a strongly spiked wall than a head of hair, that the
best of players at leap-frog might have declined biro, as
the most dangerous man in the world to go over.
While he trotted back with the message be was to
deliver to the night watchman in his box at the door of
Tellson'a Bank, by Temple-bar, who was to deliver it to
greater authorities within, the shadows of the night took
such shapes to him as arose out of the message, and took
such shapes to the mare as arose out of her private
topics of uneasiness. They seemed to be numerous, for
she shied at every shadow on the road.
What time, the mail-coach lumbered, jolted, rattled,
and bumped upon its tedious way, with its three fellow-
inscnitables inside. To whom, likewise, the shadows of
the night revealed themselves, in the forms their dosing
eyes and wandering thoughts suggested.
Tellson'a Bank had a run upon it in the mail. As
the bank passenger — with an arm drawn through the
leathern strap, which did what lay in it to keep him from
pounding against the next passenger, and driving him
into his comer, whenever the coach got a special jolt —
nodded in his place with half-shut eyes, the little coach-
windows, and the coach-lamp dimly gleaming through
them, and the bulky bundle of opposite passenger, be-
came the bank, and did a great stroke of business. The
rattle of the harness was the chink of money, and more
drafts were honored in five minutes than even Tellson'a,
with all its foreign and home connection, ever paid in
22 A TALK OP TWO CITIES.
thrice the time. Then, the strong-rooms underground,
at Tellson's, with sach of their valuable stores and secrets
as were known to the passenger (and it was not a little
that he knew about them), opened before him, and he
went in among them with the great keys and the feebly-
burning candle, and found them safe, and strong, and
sound, and still, just as he had last seen them.
But, though the bank was almost always with him, and
though the coach (in a confused way, like the presence
of pain under an opiate,) was always with him, there
was another current of impression that never ceased to
run, all through the night. He was on his way to dig
some one out of a grave-
Now, which of the multitude of bees that showed
themselves before him was the true face of the buried
person, the shadows of the night did not indicate ; bat
they were all the faces of a man of five-and-forty by
years, and they differed principally in the passions they
expressed, and in the ghastliness of their worn and wasted
state. Pride, contempt, defiance, stubbornness, submission,
lamentation, succeeded one another ; so did varieties of
sunken cheek, cadaverous color, emaciated hands and
figures. But the face was in the main one face, and
every head was prematurely white. A hundred times
the dozing passenger inquired of this spectre: —
" Buried how long ? "
The answer was always the same : " Almost eighteen
"Ton had abandoned all hope of being dug out ?"
" Long ago."
" You know that you are recalled to life ? "
"They tell me so."
" I hope you care to live ?"
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 28
" I can't say."
" Shall I show her to you ? Will you come and see
The answers to this question were various and contra-
dictory. Sometimes the broken reply was : " Wait 1 It
would kill me if I saw her too soon." Sometimes, it was
given in a lender rain of tears, and then it was, " Take
me to her." Sometimes, it was staring and bewildered,
and then it was, " I don't know her. I don't under-
After such imaginary discourse, the passenger in his
fancy would dig, and dig, dig — now, with a spade, now
with a great key, now with his hands — to dig this
wretched creature out. Got out at last, with earth bang-
ing about his face and hair, he wonld suddenly fall away
to dust. The passenger would then start to himself, and
lower the window, to get the reality of mist and rain on
Yet even when his eyes were opened on the mist and
rain, on the moving patch of light from the lamps, and
the hedge at the roadside retreating by jerks, the night
shadows outside the coach would fall into the train of
the night shadows within. The real Banking-house by
Temple-bar, the real business of the past day, the real
strong-rooms, the real express sent after him, and the
real message returned, would all be there. Out of the
midst of them, the ghostly face would rise, and he would
accost it again.
" Buried how long ? "
" Almost eighteen years."
" I hope you care to live ? "
" I can't say."
Dig — dig — dig — until an impatient movement from
21 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
one of the two passengers would admonish him to pall up
the window, draw his arm securely through the leathern
strap, and speculate upon the two slumbering forms, until
bis mind lost its hold of them, and they again slid away
into the bank and the grave.
" Buried how long ? "
" Almost eighteen years."
" You had abandoned all hope of being dug ont ? "
« Long ago."
The words were still in his hearing as just spoken —
distinctly in bis hearing as ever spoken words had been
in his life — when the weary passenger started to the
consciousness of daylight, and found that the shadows of
the night were gone.
He lowered the window, and looked out at the rising
sun. There was a ridge of ploughed land, with a plough
upon it where it had beea left last night when the horses
were unyoked ; beyond, a quiet coppice-wood, in which
many leaves of burning red and golden yellow still re-
mained upon the trees. Though the earth was cold and
wet, the sky was clear, and the sun rose bright, placid,
" Eighteen years ! " said the passenger, looking at the
sun. " Gracious Creator of Day ! To be buried alive
for eighteen years 1 "
A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
When the mail got successfully to Dover, in (he
course of the forenoon, the head-drawer at the Royal
■ George Hotel opened the coach-door, as his custom was.
He did it with some nourish of ceremony, for a mail
journey from London in winter was an achievement to
congratulate an adventurous traveller upon.
By that time, there was only one adventurous traveller
left to be congratulated ; for, the two others had been set
down at their respective roadside destinations. The mil-
dewy inside of the coach, with its damp and dirty straw,
its disagreeable smell, and its obscurity, was rather like a
larger sort of dog-kennel. Mr. Lorry, the passenger,
shaking himself out of it, in chains of straw, a tangle of
shaggy wrapper, flapping hat, and muddy legs, was rather
like a larger sort of dog.
" There will be a packet to Calais to-morrow, drawer ? "
" Yes, sir, if the weather holds and the wind sets toler-
able fair. The tide will serve pretty nicely at about two
in the afternoon, sir. Bed, sir ? "
" I shall not go to bed till night ; bat I want a bed-
room, and a barber."
" And then breakfast, sir ? Tes, sir. That way, sir,
if you please. Show Concord ! Gentleman's valise and
hot water to Concord. Full off gentleman's boots in
26 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
Concord. (You will find a fine sea-coal are, sir.) Fetch
barber to Concord. Stir about there, now, for Concord 1 "
The Concord bedchamber being always assigned to a
passenger by the mail, and passengers by the mail being
always heavily wrapped up from head to foot, the room
had the odd interest for the establishment of the Royal
George, that although bat one kind of man was seen to
go into it, all kinds and varieties of men came out of it.
Consequently, another drawer, and two porters, and sev-
eral maids, and the landlady, were all loitering by acci-
dent at various points of the road between the Concord
and the coffee-room, when a gentleman of sixty, formally
dressed in a brown suit of clothes, pretty well worn, but
very well kept, with large square cuffs and large flaps to
the pockets, passed along on his way to bis breakfast
The coffee-room had no other occupant, that forenoon,
than the gentleman in brown. His breakfast-table was
drawn before the fire, and as he sat, with its light shining
on him, waiting for the meal, he sat so still, that he might
have been sitting for his portrait.
Very orderly and methodical he looked, with a hand
on each knee, and a loud watch ticking a sonorous ser-
mon under his flapped waistcoat, as though it pitted its
gravity and longevity against the levity and evanescence
of the brisk fire. He had a good leg, and was a little
vain of it, for his brown stockings fitted sleek and close,
and were of a fine texture ; his shoes and buckles, too,
though plain, were trim. He wore an odd little sleek
crisp flaxen wig, sitting very close to his bead : which
wig, it is to be presumed, was made of hair, but which
looked far more as though it were spun from filaments
of silk or glass. His linen, though not of a fineness in
accordance with his stockings, was as white as the tops
A TALE OP TWO CITIES. 27
of the waves that broke upon the neighboring beach, or
the specks of sail that glinted in the sunlight far at sea.
A face, habitually suppressed and quieted, was still lighted
Up under the quaint wig by a pair of moist bright eyes
that it must have cost their owner, in years gone by,
some pains to drill to the composed and reserved expres-
sion of Tellson's Bank. He had a healthy color in his
cheeks, and his face, though lined, bore few traces of
anxiety. ■ But, perhaps the confidential bachelor clerks
in Tellson's Bank were principally occupied with the
Cares of other people ; and perhaps second-hand cares,
like second-band clothes, come easily off and on.
Completing his resemblance to a man who was sitting
for hie portrait, Mr. Lorry dropped off asleep. The ar-
rival of his breakfast roused him, and he said to the
drawer, as he moved his chair to it:
" I wish accommodation prepared for a young lady
who may come here at any time to-day. She may ask
for Mr. Jarvis Lorry, or she may only ask for a gentle-
man from Tellson's Bank. Please to let me know."
" Yes, sir, Tellson's Bank in London, sir."
" Yes, sir. We have oftentimes the honor to entertain
your gentlemen in their travelling backwards and for-
wards betwixt London and Paris, sir. A vast deal of
travelling, sir, in Tellson and Company's House."
" Yes. We are quite a French house, as well as an
" Yes, sir. Not much in the habit of such travelling
yourself, I think, sir ?"
"Not of late years. It is fifteen years since we —
since I — came last from France."
"Indeed, sir? That was before my time here, sir.
28 A TALE OF TWO -CITIES.
Before our people's time here, sir. The George was in
other hands at that time, sir."
" I believe so."
" But I would hold a pretty wager, sir, that a House
like Tellson and Company was flourishing, a matter of
fitly, not to speak of fifteen years ago F "
" You might treble that, and say a hundred and fifty,
yet not be far from the truth."
" Indeed, sir ! "
Rounding his mouth and both his eyes, as he stepped
backwnrd from the table, the waiter shifted bis napkin
from his right arm to his left, dropped into a comfortable
attitude, and stood surveying the guest while he ate and
drank, as from an observatory or watch-tower. Accord-
ing to the immemorial usage of waiters in all ages.
When Mr. Lorry had finished his breakfast, he went
out for a stroll on the beach. The little narrow, crooked
town of Dover hid itself away from the beach, and ran
its head into the chalk-cliffs, lite a marine ostrich. The
beach was a desert of heaps of sea and stones tumbling
wildly about, and the sea did what it liked, and what it
liked was destruction. It thundered at the town, and
thundered at the cliffs, and brought the coast down, madly.
The air among the honses was of so strong a piscatory
flavor that one might have supposed sick fish went up to
be dipped in it, as sick people went down to be dipped in
the sen. A little fishing was done in the port, and a
quantity of strolling about by night, and looking seaward :
particularly at those times when the tide made, and was
near flood. Small tradesmen, who did no business what-
ever, sometimes unaccountably realized large fortunes,
and it was remarkable that nobody in the neighborhood
could endure a lamp-lighter.
A. TALE OF TWO CITIES. 29
As the day declined into the afternoon, and the air,
which had been at intervals clear enough to allow the
French coast to be seen, became again charged with mist
and vapor, Mr. Lorry's thoughts seemed to cloud too.
When it was dark, and be sat before the coffee-room fire,
awaiting his dinner as he had awaited his breakfast, his
mind was busily digging, digging, digging, in the live red
A bottle of good claret after dinner does a digger in
the red coals no harm, otherwise than as it has a ten-
dency to throw him out of work. Mr. Lorry had been
idle a long time, and had just poured out his last glassful
of wine with as complete an appearance of satisfaction as
is ever to be found in an elderly gentleman of a fresh
complexion who has got to the end of a bottle, when a
rattling of wheels came up the narrow street, and rumbled
into the inn-yard.
He set down his glass untouched. " This ia Ma*m'-
aelle I " said he.
In a very few minutes the waiter came in, to announce
that Miss Manette had arrived from London, and would
be happy to see the gentleman from Tellson's.
" So soon ? "
Miss Manette had taken some refreshment on the road,
and required none then, and was extremely anxious to
see the gentleman from Tellson's immediately, if it suited
his pleasure and convenience.
The gentleman from Tellson's had nothing left for it
but to empty bis glass with an air of stolid desperation,
settle his odd little flaxen wig at the ears, and follow the
waiter to Miss Manette's apartment. It was a large,
dark room, furnished in a funereal manner with black
horse-hair, and loaded with heavy dark tables. These
80 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
had been oiled and oiled, until the two tall candles on
the table in the middle of the room were gloomily re-
flected on every leaf; as if they were buried, in deep
graves of black mahogany, and no light to speak of could
be expected from them until they were dug out.
The obscurity was so difficult to penetrate that Mr.
Lorry, picking his way over the well-worn Turkey car-
pet, supposed Miss Manette to be, for the moment, in
some adjacent room, until, having got past the two tall
candles, he saw standing to receive him by the table be-
tween them and the fire, a young lady of not more than
seventeen, in a riding-cloak, and still holding her straw
travelling-hat by its ribbon, in her hand. As his eyes
rested on a short, slight-pretty figure, a quantity of golden
hair, a pair of blue eyes that met his own with an inquir-
ing look, and a forehead with a singular capacity (re-
membering how young and smooth it was), of lifting and
knitting itself into an expression that was not quite one
of perplexity, or wonder, or alarm, or merely of a bright
fixed attention, though it included all the four expressions
: — as his eyes rested on these things, a sudden vivid like-
ness passed before him, of a child whom he had held in
his arms on die passage across that very Channel, one
cold time, when the hail drifted heavily and the sea ran
high. The likeness passed away, say, like a breath along
the surface of the gaunt pier-glass behind, her, on the
frame of which, a hospital procession of negro cuptds,
several headless and all cripples, were offering black bas-
kets of Dead-Sea fruit to black divinities of the feminine
gender — and he made hia formal bow to Miss Manette.
" Pray take a seat, sir." In a very clear and pleasant
young voice : a little foreign in its accent, but a very
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 81
" I kiss your hand, miss," said Mr. Lorry, with the
manners of an earlier date, as he made his formal bow
again, and took his seat
"I received a letter from the Bank, sir, yesterday,
informing me that some new intelligence — or dis-
ss ; either word will do."
— "respecting the small property of my poor father
whom I never saw — so long dead"
Mr. Lorry moved in his chair, and cast a troubled
look towards the hospital procession of negro etipids.
As if they had any help for anybody in their absurd
— " rendered it necessary that I should go to Paris,
there to communicate with a gentleman of the Bank, so
good as to be despatched to Paris for the purpose."
" As I was prepared to hear, sir."
She courteeied to him (young ladies made courtesies in
those days), with a pretty desire to convey to him that
she felt how much older and wiser he was than she.
He made her another bow.
" I replied to the Bank, sir, that as it was considered
necessary, by those who know, and who are so kind as
to advise me, that I should go to France, and that as I
am' an orphan and have no friend who could go with
me, I should esteem it highly if I might be permitted to
place myself, during the journey, under that worthy gen-
tleman's protection. The gentleman had left London,
but I think a messenger was sent after him to beg the
favor of his waiting for me here."
" I was happy," said Mr. Lorry, " to be intrusted with
the charge. I shall be more happy to execute it."
82 A TALK OF TWO CITIEg.
" Sir, I thank you indeed. I thank you very grate-
fully. It was told me by the Bank that the gentleman
would explain to me the details of the business, and that
I must prepare myself to find them of a surprising na-
ture. I hare done my best to prepare myself, and I
naturally have a strong and eager interest to know what
"Naturally," said Mr. Lorry. " Yes — I"
After a pause, be added, again settling the crisp flaxen
wig at (he ears :
" It is very difficult to begin."
He did not begin, but, in his indecision, met her glance.
The young forehead lifted itself into that singular expres-
sion — but it was pretty and characteristic, besides being
singular — and she raised her hand, as if with an invol-
untary action she caught at, or stayed, some passing
" Are you quite a 6tranger to me, sir ? "
"Am I not?" Mr. Lorry opened his hands, and
extended them outward with an argumentative smile.
Between the eyebrows and just over the little feminine
nose, the line of which was as delicate and fine as it was
possible to be, the expression deepened itself as she took
her seat thoughtfully in the chair by which she bad
hitherto remained standing. He watched her as she
mused, and, the moment she raised her eyes again, went
" In your adopted country, I presume, I cannot do
better than address you as a young English lady, Miss
Manette P "
* If you please, sir."
"Miss Manette, I am a man of business. I have a
business charge to acquit myself of. In your reception
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 33
of it, don't heed me any more than if I was a speaking
machine — truly, I am not much else. I will, with your
leave, relate to you, miss, the story of one of our cus-
" Story ! "
He seemed wilfully to mistake the word she had re-
peated, when he added, in a hurry, " Tea, customers j in
the banking business we usually call our connection our
customers. He was a French gentleman ; a scientific
gentleman ; a man of great acquirements — a Doctor."
" Not of Beauvais ? "
"Why, yes, of Beauvais. Like Monsieur Manette,
your father, the gentleman was of Beauvais. Like Mon-
sieur Manette, your father, the gentleman was of repute
in Paris. I had the honor of knowing him there. Our
relations were business relations, but confidential. I was
at that time in our French House, and, had been — oh !
" At that time — I may ask, at what time, sir ? "
" I speak, miss, of twenty years ago. He married —
an English lady — and I was one of the trustees. His
affairs, like the affairs of many other French gentlemen
and French families, were entirely in Tellson's hands.
In a similar way, I am, or I have been, trustee of one
kind or other for scores of our customers. These are
mere business relations, miss; there is no friendship in
them, no particular interest, nothing like sentiment I
have passed from one to another, in the course of my
business life, jnst as I pass from one of our customers to
another in the coarse of my business day; in short, I
have no feelings ; I am a mere machine. To go on "—
" But this is my father's story, sir ; and I begin to
think"— the curiously roughened forehead was very
84 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
latent upon him — " that when I was left an orphan,
through my mother's surviving my father only two years,
it was you who brought me to England. I am almost
sure it was yon."
Mr. Lorry took the hesitating little hand that confid-
ingly advanced to take bis, and be put it with some
ceremony to his lips. He then conducted the young
lady straightway to her chair again, and, holding the
chair-back with his left hand, and using bis. right by
turns to rub his chin, pull his wig at the ears, or point
what he said, stood looking down into her face while she
sat looking up into his.
"Miss Manette, it wa» I. And you will see how
truly I spoke of myself just now, in saying I had no
feelings, and that all the relations I bold with my fellow-
creatures are mere business relations, when you reflect
that I have never seen you since. No ; you have been
the ward of Tellson's House since, and I have been
busy with the other business of Tellson's House since.
Feelings ! I have no time for them, no chance of them.
I pass my whole life, miss, in turning an immense pecu-
After this odd description of bis daily routine of em-
ployment, Mr. Lorry flattened his flaxen wig upon his
head with both hands (which was most unnecessary, for
nothing could be flatter than its shining surface was
before), and resumed his former attitude.
" So far, miss (as you have remarked), this is the
story of your regretted father. Now comes the differ-
ence. If your father had not died when he did
Don't be frightened ! How you start I "
She did, indeed, start. And she caught his wrist with
both her hands. •
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. &&
" Pray," said Mr. Lorry, in a soothing tone, bringing
his left hand from the back of the chair to lay it on the
supplicatory fingers that clasped him in bo violent a
tremble : " pray control your agitation — a matter of
business. As I was saying"
Her look so discomposed him that he stopped, wan-
dered, and began anew :
"As I was saying; if Monsieur Manctte had not
died ; if he had suddenly and silently disappeared ; if he
had been spirited away ; if it had not been difficult to
guess to what dreadful place, though no art could trace
him ; if he had an enemy in some compatriot who could
exercise a privilege that I in my own time have known
the boldest people afraid to speak of in a whisper, across
the water, there * for instance, the privilege of filling up
blank forms for the consignment of any one to the obliv-
ion of a prison for any length of time ; if his wife had
implored the king, the queen, the court, the clergy, for
any tidings of him, and all quite in vain; — then the
history of your father would have been the history of
this unfortunate gentleman, the Doctor of Beauvais."
" I entreat you to tell me more, sir."
" I will. I am going to. You can bear it ? "
" I can bear anything but the uncertainty you leave
me in at this moment."
"You speak collectedly, and you — are collected.
That's good 1" (Though his manner was less satisfied
than his words.) "A matter of business. Regard it
as a matter of business — business that must be done.
Now, if this Doctor's wife, though a lady of great
courage and spirit, had suffered so intensely from this
cause before her little child was born" ■
" The little child was a daughter, sir."
86 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
"A daughter. A — a— .matter of business — don't
be distressed. Miss, if the poor lady had suffered bo
intensely before her little child was born, that she came
to the determination of sparing the poor child the in-
heritance of any part of the agony she had known the
pains of, by rearing her in the belief that her father was
dead No, don't kneel I In Heaven's name why
should you kneel to me 1 "
" For the truth. O dear, good, compassionate sir, for
"A — a matter of business. Tou confuse me, and
how can I transact business if I am confused ? Let 119
be clear-headed. If you could kindly mention now, for
instance, what nine times ninepence are, or how many
shillings in twenty guineas, it would be so encouraging.
I should be so much more at my ease about your state
Without directly answering to this appeal, she sat so
still when he had very gently raised her, and the bands
that had not ceased to clasp his wrists were bo much
more steady than they had been, that she communicated
some reassurance to Mr. Jarvia Lorry.
11 That's right, that's right. Courage ! Business !
Tou have business before you ; useful business. Miss
Manette, your mother took this course with you. And
when she died — I believe broken-hearted — having
never slackened her unavailing search for your father,
she left you, at two years old, to grow to be blooming,
beautiful, and happy, without the dark cloud upon yon
of living in uncertainty whether your father soon wore
his heart out in prison, or wasted there through many
As he said the words, he looked down, with an admir-
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 87
ing pity, on the flowing golden hair ; as if he pictured
to himself that it might have been already tinged with
" You know that jour parents had no great possession,
and that what they had was secured to your mother and
to you. There has been no new discovery, of money,
or of any other property ; but "
He felt his wrist held closer, and he stopped. The
expression in the forehead, which had bo particularly
attracted his notice, and which was now immovable, had
deepened into one of pain and horror.
" But he has been — been found. He is alive.
Greatly changed, it is too probable; almost a wreck,
it is possible ; though we will hope the best. Still,
alive. Tour rather has been taken to the house of an
old servant in Paris, and we are going there: I, to
identify him, if I can : you, to restore him to life, love,
doty, rest, comfort."
A shiver ran through her frame, and from it through
his. She said, in a low, distinct, awe-stricken voice, as if
she were saying it in a dream, —
"lam going to see his Ghost I It will be his Ghost
—not him I"
Mr. Lorry quietly chafed the hands that held his arm.
"There, there, there! See now, see now I The best
and the worst are known to you now. You are well on
your way to the poor wronged gentleman, and, with a
fair sea-voyage, and a fair land journey, you will be soon
at his dear side."
She repeated in the same tone, sunk to a whisper,
" I have been free, I have been happy, yet his Ghost has
never haunted me 1 "
" Only one thing more," said Mr. Lorry, laying stress
88 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
upon it aa a wholesome means of enforcing her atten-
tion : " he has been found under another name ; his
own, long forgotten or long concealed. It would be
worse than useless now to inquire which ; worse than
useless to seek to know whether he has been for years
overlooked, or always designedly held prisoner. It
would be worse than useless now to make any inquiries,
because it would be dangerous. Better not to mention
the subject, anywhere or in any way, and to remove bim
— for a while at all events — out of France. Even I,
safe as an Englishman, and even Tellson's, important as
they are to French credit, avoid all naming of the mat-
ter, I carry about me, not a scrap of writing openly
referring to it. This is a secret service altogether. My
credentials, entries, and memoranda, are all comprehend-
ed in the one line, ' Recalled to Life ; ' which may mean
anything. But what is the matter ! She doesn't notice
a word ! Miss Manette ! "
Perfectly stilt and silent, and not even fallen back in
her chair, she sat under his hand, utterly insensible, with
her eyes open and fixed upon him, and with that last
expression looking as if it were carved or branded into
her forehead. So close was her hold upon his arm, that
he feared to detach himself lest he should hurt her;
therefore he called out loudly for assistance without
A wild-looking woman, whom, even in his agitation,
Mr. Lorry observed to be all of a red color, and to have
red hair, and to he dressed in some extraordinary tight-
fitting fashion, and to have on her head a most wonder-
ful bonnet like a Grenadier wooden measure, and good
measure too, or a great Stilton cheese, came running
into the room in advance of the inn-servants, and soon
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 99
settled the question of his detachment from the poor
young lady, by laying a brawny hand upon bis chest, and
sending him flying back against the nearest wall.
(" I really think this must be a man ! " was Mr,
Lorry's breathless reflection, simultaneously with his
coming against the wall.)
" Why, look at you all ! " bawled this figure, address-
ing the inn-servants. "Why don't you go and fetch
things, instead of standing there staring at me ? I am
not so much to look at, am I ? Why don't you go and
fetch things ? I'll let you know, if you don't bring smell-
ing-salts, cold water, and vinegar, quick, I will ! "
There was an immediate dispersal for these restora-
tives, and she softly laid the patient on a sofa, and tend-
ed her with great skill and gentleness : calling ber " my
precious!" and "my bird!" and spreading her golden
hair aside over her shoulders with great pride and care.
" And you in brown ! " she said, indignantly turning
on Mr. lorry ; " couldn't you tell her what you had to
tell ber, without frightening ber to death ? Look at her,
with her pretty pale face and her cold hands. Do you
call thai being a Banker?"
Mr. Lorry was so exceedingly disconcerted by a ques-
tion so hard to answer, that he could only look on, at
a distance, with much feebler sympathy and humility,
while the strong woman, having banished the inn-ser-
vants under the mysterious penalty of "letting them
know " something not mentioned if they stayed there,
staring, recovered her charge by a regular series of gra-
dations, and coaxed her to lay her drooping head upon her
" I hope she will do well now," said Mr. Lorry.
" No thanks to you in brown, if she does. My dar-
ling pretty 1 "
40 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
" I hope," said Mr. Lorry, after another pause of
feeble sympathy and humility, " that you accompany
Miss Manette to France?"
" A likely thing, too 1 " replied the strong woman. " If
it was ever intended that I should go across salt water,
do you suppose Providence would have cast my lot in an
This being another question hard to answer, Mr. Jar-
vis Lorry withdrew to consider it
A large cask of wine bad been dropped and broken,
in the street. The accident bad happened in getting it
out of a cart ; the cask had tumbled out with a run, the
hoops had burst, and it lay on the stones just outside
the door of the wine-shop, shattered like a walnut-shell.
All the people within reach had suspended their busi-
ness, or their idleness, to run to the spot and drink the
wine. The rough, irregular stones of the street, point-
ing every way, and designed, one might have thought,
expressly to lame all living creatures that approached
them, had dammed it into little pools; these were sur-
rounded, each by its own jostling group or crowd, ac-
cording to its size. Some men kneeled down, made
scoops of their two hands joined, and sipped, or tried to
help women, who bent over their shoulders, to sip, be-
fore the wine had all run out between their fingers.
Others, men and women, dipped in the puddles with
little mugs of mutilated earthenware, or even with hand-
kerchiefs from women's heads, which were squeezed dry
into infante' mouths ; others made small mud-embank-
ments, to stem the wine as it ran ; others, directed by
lookers-on up at high windows, darted here and there, to
cut off little streams of wine that started away in new
directions ; others devoted themselves to the sodden and
42 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
lee-dyed pieces of the cask, licking, and even champing
the moister wine-rotted fragments with eager relish.
There was no drainage to tarry off the wine ; and not
only did it all get taken up, but so much mud got taken
up along with it, that there might have been a scavenger
in the street, if anybody acquainted with it could have
believed in such a miraculous presence.
A shrill sound of laughter and of amused voices —
voices of men, women, and children — resounded in the
street while this wine -game lasted. There was little
roughness in tie sport, and much playfulness. There
was a special companionship in it, an observable inclina-
tion on the part of every one to join some other one,
which led, especially among the luckier or lighter-heart-
ed, to frolicsome embraces, drinking of healths, shaking
of hands, and even joining of hands and dancing, a
dozen together. When the wine was gone, and the
places where it had been most abundant were raked
into a gridiron -pattern by fingers, then demonstrations
ceased, as suddenly as they had broken out. The man
who had left his saw sticking in the firewood he was
cutting, set it in motion again ; the woman who had left
on a door-step the little pot of hot ashes, at which she
had been trying to soften the pain in her own starved
fingers and toes, or in those of her child, returned to it;
men with bare arms, matted locks, and cadaverous faces,
who had emerged into the winter light from cellars,
moved away to descend again ; and a gloom gathered on
the scene that appeared more natural to it than sunshine.
The wine was red wine, and had stained the ground
of the narrow street in the suburb of Saint Antoine, in
Paris, where it was spilled. It had stained many hands,
too, and many faces, and many naked feet, and many
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 43
wooden shoes. The hands of the man who sawed the
wood, left red marks on the billets ; and the forehead of
the woman who nursed her baby, was stained with the
■tain of the old rag she wound about her head again.
Those who had been greedy with the staves of the cask,
had acquired a tigerish smear about the mouth ; and one
tall joker so besmirched, his head more out of a long
squalled bag of a nightcap than in it, scrawled upon
a wall, with his finger dipped in muddy wine lees —
The time was to come when that wins too would be
spilled on the street-stones, and when the stain of it
would be red upon many there.
And now thai the cloud settled on Saint Antoine,
which a momentary gleam bad driven from his sacred
countenance, the darkness of it was heavy, — cold, dirt,
sickness, ignorance, and want, were the lords in waiting
on the saintly presence, — nobles of great power all of
them ; but most especially the last Samples of a peo-
ple that had undergone a terrible grinding and re-grind-
ing in the mill, and certainly not in the fabulous mill
which ground old people young, shivered at every cor-
ner, passed in and out at every door-way, looked from
every window, fluttered in every vestige of a garment
that the wind shook. The mill which had worked them
down, was the mill that grinds young people old; the
children had ancient faces and grave voices ; and upon
them, and upon the grown faces, and ploughed into every
furrow of age and coming up afresh, was the sign, Hun-
ger. It was prevalent everywhere. Hunger was pushed
out of the tall houses, in the wretched clothing that bung
upon poles and lines; Hunger was patched into them
with straw and rag and wood and paper ; Hunger was
44 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
repeated in every fragment of the small modicum of
firewood that the man sawed off; Hunger stared down
from the smokeless chimneys, and started up from the
filthy street that had no offal, among its refuse, of any-
thing to eat Hunger was the inscription on the baker's
shelves, written in every small loaf of his scanty stock
of bad bread; at the sausage-shop, in every dead-dog
preparation that was offered for sale. Hunger rattled
its dry bones among the roasting chestnuts in the turned
cylinder ; Hunger was shred into atomies in every far-
thing porringer of husky chips of potato, fried with
some reluctant drops of oil
Its abiding-place was in all things fitted to it. A nar-
row winding street, full of offence and stench, with other
narrow winding streets diverging, all peopled by rags
and night-caps, and all smelling of raga and night-caps,
and all visible things with a brooding look upon them
that looked ill. In the hunted air of the people there
was yet some wild-beast thought of the possibility of
turning at bay. Depressed and slinking though they
were, eyes of fire were not wanting among them ; nor
compressed lips, white with wbat they suppressed; nor
foreheads knitted into the likeness of the gallows-rope
they mused about enduring, or inflicting. The trade
signs (and they were almost as many as the shops) were,
all, grim illustrations of Want The butcher and the
porkman painted up, only the leanest scrags of meat;
the baker, the coarsest of meagre loaves. The people
rudely pictured as drinking in the wine-shops, croaked
over their scanty measures of thin wine and beer, and
were gloweringly confidential together. Nothing was
represented in a flourishing condition, save tools and
weapons ; but the cutler's knives and axes were sharp
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 45
and bright, the smith's hammers were heavy, and the
gun maker's stock was murderous. The crippling atones
of the pavement, with their many little reservoirs of mud
and water, bad no footways, but broke off abruptly at
the doors. The kennel, to make amends, ran down the
middle of the street, — when it ran at all: which was
only after heavy rains, and then it ran, by many eccen-
tric fits, into the houses. Across the streets, at wide in-
tervals, one clumsy lamp was slung by a rope and pul-
ley ; at night, when the lamp-lighter had let these down,
and lighted, and hoisted them again, a feeble grove of
dim wicks swung in a sickly manner overhead, as if they
were at sea. Indeed they were at sea, and the ship and
crew were in peril of tempest.
For the time was to come when the gaunt scarecrows
of that region should have watched the lamp-lighter, in
their idleness and hunger, so long, as to conceive the idea
of improving on his method, and hauling up men by
those ropes and pulleys, to flare upon the darkness of
their condition. But the time was not come yet; and
every wind that blew over France shook the rags of the
scarecrows in vain, for the birds, fine of song and feather,
took no warning.
The wine-shop was a corner shop, better than most
others in its appearance and degree ; and the master of
the wine-shop had stood outside it, in a yellow waistcoat
and green breeches, looking on at the struggle for the
lost nine. "It's not my affair," said he, with a final
shrug of his shoulders. " The people from the market
did it. Let them bring another."
There, his eyes happening to catch the tall joker writ-
ing up bis joke, be called to him across the way :
" Say then, my Gaspard, what do you do there ? "
46 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
The fellow pointed to his joke with immense signifi-
cance, aa U often the way with his tribe. It missed its
mark, and completely failed, as is often the way with his
" What now ? Are yon a subject for the mad-hospi-
, tal?" said the wine-shop keeper, crossing the road, and
obliterating the jest with a handful of mud, picked up
for the purpose, and smeared over it. " Why do you
write in the public streets? Is there — tell me, thou —
is there no other place to write such words in?"
In his expostulation he dropped his cleaner hand (per-
haps accidentally, perhaps not) upon the joker's heart.
The joker rapped it with his own, took a nimble spring
upward, and came down in a fantastic dancing attitude,
with one of his stained shoes jerked off his foot into" his
hand, and held out A joker of an extremely, not to
say wolfishly, practical character, he looked, under those
" Put it on, put it on," said the other. " Gall wine,
wine; and finish there." With that advice, he wiped
his soiled hand upon the joker's dress, such as it was, —
quite deliberately, as having dirtied the hand on his
account; and then recrossed the road and entered the
This wine-shop keeper was a bull-necked, martial-
looking man of thirty, and he shonld have been of a hot
temperament, for, although it was a bitter day, he wore
no coat, bnt carried one slung over his shoulder. His
shirt-sleeves were rolled up, too, and his brown arms
were bare to the elbows. Neither did he wear any-
thing more on his head than his own crisply-curling
short dark hair. He was a dark man altogether, with
good eyes and a good bold breadth between them.
A, TALE OF TWO CITIES. 47
Good-humored-looking on the whole, but implacable-
looking, too, — evidently a man of a strong resolution
and a set purpose, — a man not desirable to be met,
rushing down a narrow pass with a gulf on either side,
for nothing would turn the man.
Madame Defarge, bis wife, sat in the shop behind the
counter as he came in. Madame Defarge was a stout
woman of about his own age, with a watchful eye that
seldom seemed to look at anything, a large hand heavily
ringed, a steady nice, strong features, and great com-
posure of manner. There was a character about Ma-
dame Defarge, from which one might have predicated
that she did not often make mistakes against herself in
any of the reckonings over which she presided. Madame
Defarge being sensitive to cold, was wrapped in fur, and
had a quantity of bright shawl twined about her head,
though not to the concealment of her large ear-rings.
Her knitting was before her, but she had bid it down to
pick her teeth with a toothpick. Thus engaged, with
her right elbow supported by her left hand, Madame
Defarge said nothing when her lord came in, but coughed
just one grain of cough. This, in combination with the
lifting of her darkly defined eyebrows over her toothpick
by the breadth of a line, suggested to her husband that
he would do well to look round the shop among the cus-
tomers for any new customer who had dropped in while
he stepped over the way.
The wine-shop keeper accordingly rolled hia eyes
about, until they rested upon an elderly gentleman and
a young lady, who were Beated in a corner. Other com-
pany were there : two playing cards, two playing dom-
inoes, three standing by the counter lengthening out a
short supply of wine. As he passed behind the counter,
48 A TALE OP TWO CITIES.
he took notice that the elderly gentleman said in a look
to the young lady, " This is our man."
" What the devil do you do in that galley there 1 "
said Monsieur Defarge to himself; "I don't know
But he feigned not to notice the two strangers, and
fell into discourse with the triumvirate of customers who
were drinking at the counter.
" How goes it, Jacques ? " said one of these three to
Monsieur Dofarge. " Is all the spilt wine swallowed ? "
" Every drop, Jacques," answered Monsieur Defarge.
When this interchange of Christian name was effected,
Madame Defarge, picking her teeth with her toothpick,
Coughed another grain of cough, and raised her eyebrows
by the breadth of another line.
" It is not often," said the second of the three, address-
ing Monsieur Defarge, " that many of these miserable
beasts know the taste of wine, or of anything but blade
bread and death. Is it not so, Jacques ? "
" It is so, Jacques," Monsieur Defarge returned.
At this second interchange of the Christian name,
Madame Defarge, still using her toothpick with profound
composure, coughed another grain of cough, and raised
her eyebrows by the breadth of another line.
The last of the three now said his say, as he put down
his empty drinking vessel and smacked his lips.
" Ah ! So much the worse ! A bitter taste it is that
such poor cattle always have in their mouths, and hard
lives they live, Jacques. Am I right, Jacques ? "
" Yon are right, Jacques," was the response of Mon-
This third interchange of the Christian name was com-
pleted at the moment when Madame Defarge put her
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 49
toothpick by, kept her eyebrows up, and slightly rustled
in her seat.
" Hold then I True ! " muttered her husband. " Gen-
tlemeu — my wife ! "
The three customers pulled off their hats to Madame
Def&rge, with three flourishes. She acknowledged their
homage by bending her bead, and giving them a quick
look. Then she glanced in a casual manner round the
wine-shop, took up her knitting with great apparent
calmness and repose of spirit, and became absorbed
"Gentlemen," said her husband, who had kept his
bright eye observantly npon her, " good-day. The cham-
ber, furnished bachelor-fashion, that you wished to see,
and were inquiring for when I stepped out, is on the
fifth floor. The door-way of the staircase gives on the
little court-yard close to the left here," pointing with his
band, "near to the window of my establishment But,
now that I remember, one of you has already been there,
and can show the way. Gentlemen, adieu ! "
They paid for their wine, and left the place. The eyes
of Monsieur Defarge were studying bis wife at her knit-
ting, when the elderly gentleman advanced from bis cor-
ner, and begged the favor of a word.
" Willingly, sir," said Monsieur Defarge, and quietly
Stepped with him to the door.
Their conference was very short, but very decided.
Almost at the first word, Monsieur Defarge started and
became deeply attentive. It bad not lasted a minute,
when he nodded and went out. The gentleman then
beckoned to the young lady, and they, too, went out.
Madame Defarge knitted with nimble fingers and steady
eyebrows, and saw nothing.
SO A. TALE OF TWO CITIES.
Mr. Jams Lorry and Miss Manette, emerging from
the wine -shop thus, joined Monsieur Defarge in the door-
way to which he had directed his other company just
before. It opened from a stinking little black court-yard,
and was the general public entrance to a great pile of
houses, inhabited by a great number of people. In the
gloomy tile-paved entry to the gloomy tile-paved stair-
case, Monsieur Defarge bent down on one knee to the
child of his old master, and put her hand to his lips.
It was a gentle action, but not at all gently done ; a very
remarkable transformation had come over him in a few
seconds. He had no good-humor in his face, nor any
openness of aspect left, but had become a secret, angry,
"It is very high; it is a little difficult. Better to
begin slowly." Thus, Monsieur Defarge, in a stern
voice, to Mr. Lorry, as they begin ascending the
"Is he alone?" the bitter whispered.
" Alone ! God help him who should be with him ! "
said the other, in the same low voice.
" Is he always alone, then ? "
* Of his own desire ? "
" Of his own necessity. As he was, when I first saw
him after they found me and demanded to know if I
would take him, and, at my peril, be discreet — as he was
then, so he is now."
" He is greatly changed ? "
" Changed ! "
The keeper of the wine-shop stopped to strike the
wall with his hand, and mutter a tremendous curse. No
direct answer could have been half so forcible. Mr.
A TALE OF TWO CUffiS. 51
Lorry's spirits grew heavier and heavier, as he and his
two companions ascended higher and higher.
Such a staircase, with its accessories, in the older and
more crowded part of Paris, would be bad enough now ;
but, at that time, it was vile indeed to unaccustomed and
unhardened senses. Every little habitation within the
great foul nest of one high building — that is to say, the
room or rooms within every door that opened on the
general staircase — left its own heap of refuse on its
own landing, besides flinging other refuse from its own
windows. The uncontrollable and hopeless mass of de-
composition so engendered, would have polluted the air,
even if poverty and deprivation had not loaded it with
their intangible impurities ; the two bad sources com-
bined made it almost insupportable. Through such an
atmosphere, by a steep dark shaft of dirt and poison, the
way lay. Yielding to his own disturbance of mind, and
to his young companion's agitation, which became greater
every instant, Mr. Jar vis Lorry twice stopped to rest.
Each of these stoppages was made at a doleful grating,
by which any languishing good airs that were left uncor-
rupted, seemed to escape, and all spoilt and sickly vapors
seemed to crawl in. Through the rusted bars, tastes,
rather than glimpses, were caught of the jumbled neigh*
borhood ; and nothing within range, nearer or lower than
the summits of the two great towers of Notre-Dame had
any promise on it of healthy life or wholesome aspira-
At last, the top of the staircase was gained, and they
stopped for the third time. There was yet an upper
staircase, of a steeper inclination and of contracted di-
mension?, to be ascended, before the garret story was
reached. The keeper of the wine-shop, always going a
M A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
little in advance, and always going on the side which Mr.
Lorry took, aa though he dreaded to be asked any ques-
tion by the young lady, turned himself about here, and,
carefully feeling in the pockets of the coat he carried
oyer bis shoulder, took out a key.
" The door is locked then, my friend ? " said Mr. Lorry,
"Ay. Yes," was the grim reply of Monsieur De-
" Tou think it necessary to keep the unfortunate gen-
tleman so retired?''
H I think it necessary to turn the key." Monsieur De-
farge whispered it closer in his ear, and frowned heavily.
" Why ! Because he has lived so long, locked up, that
he would be frightened — rave — tear himself to pieces
— die — come to I know not what harm — if his door
was left open."
"Is it possible 1 " exclaimed Mr. Lorry.
"Is it possible?" repeated Defarge, bitterly, "Yes.
And a beautiful world we live in, when it is possible, and
when many other such things are possible, and not only
possible, but done — done, see you! — under that sky
there, every day. Long live the DeviL Let us go on."
This dialogue had been held in so very low a whisper,
that not a word of it had reached the young lady's ears.
But, by this time she trembled under such strong emo-
tion, and her face expressed such deep anxiety, and,
above all, such dread and terror, that Mr. Lorry felt it
incumbent on him to speak a word or two of reassur-
" Courage, dear miss 1 Courage ! Business 1 The
worst will be over in a moment; it is but passing the
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 68
room-door, and the worst is over. Tlien, all the good
you bring to him, all the relief, all the happiness 70a
bring to him, begin. Let oar good friend here assist
you on that aide. That's well, friend Defarge. Come,
now. Business, business ! "
They went up slowly and softly. The staircase was
short, and they were soon at the top. There, as it had
an abrupt turn in it, they came all at once in sight of
three men, whose heads were bent down close together
at the side of a door, and who were intently looking into
the room hi which the door belonged, through some chinks
or holes in the wall. On hearing footsteps close at hand,
these three turned, and rose, and showed themselves to
be the three of one name who had been drinking in the
"I forgot them, in the surprise of your visit," ex-
plained Monsieur Defarge. " Leave us, good boys ; we
have business here."
The three glided by, and went silently down.
There appearing to be no other door on that floor, and
the keeper of the wine-shop going straight to this one when
they were left alone, Mr. Lorry asked him in a whisper,
with a little anger, —
" Do you make a show of Monsieur Manette ? "
" I show him, in the way you have seen, to a chosen
» Is that well ? "
" I think it is well."
" Who are the few ? How do you choose them ? "
" I choose them as real men, of my name — Jacques
is my name — to whom the sight is likely to do good.
Enough ; you are English ; that is another thing. Stay
there, if you please, a little moment."
51 A TALE OF TWO CITIEa.
With an admonitory gesture to keep them back, he
stooped, and looked in through the crevice in the wall.
Soon raising his head again, he struck twice or thrice
upon the door — evidently with no other object than to
make a noise there. With the same intention, he drew
the key across it, three or four times, before he put it
clumsily into the lock, and turned it as heavily as he
The door slowly opened inward under his hand, and
he looked into the room and said something. A faint
voice answered something. Little more than a single
syllable could have been spoken on either side.
He looked back over his shoulder, and beckoned them
to enter. Mr. Lorry got his arm securely round the
daughter's waist, and held her ; for he felt that she was
"A — a — a— business, business!" he urged, with
a moisture that was not of business shining on his cheek.
" Come in, come in ! "
"lam afraid of it," she answered, shuddering.
"Of it? What?"
" I mean of him. Of my father."
Bendered in a manner desperate, by her state and
by the beckoning of their conductor, he drew over
his neck the arm that shook upon his shoulder, lifted
her a little, and hurried her into the room. He set her
down just within the door, and held her, clinging to
Defarge drew out the key, closed the door, locked it
on the inside, took out the key again, and held it in his
hand. All this he did, methodically, and with as lond
and harsh an accompaniment of noise as he could make.
Finally, he walked across the room with a measured
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 60
tread to where the window was. He stopped there,
and faced round.
The garret, built to be a dry depository for firewood
and the like, was dim and dark ; for the window of
dormer shape was in troth a door in the roof, with a
little crane over it for the hoisting op of stores from
the street, — unglazed, and closing op the middle in two
pieces, like any other door of French construction. To
exclude the cold, one half of this door was last closed,
and the other was opened but a very little way. Such
■ scanty portion of light was admitted through, these
means, that it was difficult, on first coming in, to see
anything ; and long habit alone could have slowly
formed in any one the ability to do any work requir-
ing nicety in such obscurity. Yet, work of that kind
was being done in the garret ; for, with his back towards
the door, and his race towards the window where the
keeper of the wine-shop stood looking at him, a white-
haired man sat on a low bench, stooping forward and
very busy, making shoes.
A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
" Good-dat ! " said Monsieur Defarge, looking down
at the white head that bent low over the shoetnaking.
It was raised for a moment, and a very faint voice
responded to the salutation, as if it were at a distance, —
" Good-day ! "
* You are still hard at work, I see ? "
After a long silence, the head was lifted for another
moment, and the voice replied, "Yes — I am working."
This time, a pair of haggard eyes had looked at the ques-
tioner, before the face had dropped again.
The fain tn ess of the voice was pitiable and dreadful.
It was not the faintness of physical weakness, though
confinement and hard fare no doubt had their part in it.
Its deplorable peculiarity was, that it was the faintness
of solitude and disuse. It was like the last feeble echo
of a sound made long and long ago. So entirely had
it lost the life and resonance of the human voice, that
it affected the senses like a once beautiful color, faded
away into a poor weak stain. So sunken and suppressed
it was, that it was like a voice underground. So ex-
pressive it was, of a hopeless and lost creature, that a
famished traveller, wearied out by lonely wandering in
a wilderness, would have remembered home and friends
in such a tone before lying down to die-
Some minutes of silent work had passed, and the
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 57
haggard eyes had looked up again ; not with any inter-
est or curiosity, bnt with a dull mechanical perception,
beforehand, that the spot where the only visitor the;
were aware of had stood, was not yet empty.
"I want," eaid Defarge, who had not removed his
gaze from the shoemaker, " to let in a little more light
here. Tou can bear a little more ? "
The shoemaker stopped his work ; looked, with a va-
cant air of listening, at the floor on one side of him ;
then, similarly, at the floor on the other side of him ;
then upward at the speaker.
" What did you say ? "
" You can bear a little more light ? "
" I must bear it, if you let it in." (Laying the palest
shadow of a stress upon the second word.)
The opened half-door was opened a little farther and
secured at that angle for the time. A broad ray of light
fell into the garret, and showed the workman, with aa
unfinished shoe upon his lap, pausing in his labor. His
few common tools and various scraps of leather were at
his feet and on his bench. He had a white beard, rag-
gedly cut, but not very long, a hollow face, and exceed-
ingly bright eyes. The hollowness and thinness of his
face would have caused them to look large, under his
yet dark eyebrows and his confused white hair, though
they had been really otherwise ; but, they were natu-
rally large, and looked unnaturally so. His yellow rags
of shirt lay open at the throat, and showed his body to
be withered and worn. He, and his old canvas frock,
and his loose stockings, and all his poor tatters of clothes,
had, in a long seclusion from direct light and air, faded
down to such a dull uniformity of parchment-yellow, that
it would have been hard to say which was which.
58 A TALE O? TWO CITIES.
He bad put up a hand between his eyes and the light,
and the very bones of it seemed transparent. So he
Bat, with a steadfastly vacant gaze, pausing in his work.
He never looked at the figure before him, without first
looking down on this side of himself, then on that, as if
he had lost the habit of associating place with sound ;
he never spoke, without first wandering in this manner,
and forgetting to speak.
" Are you going to finish that pair of shoes to-day?"
asked Defarge, motioning to Mr. Lorry to come forward.
" What did you say ? "
" Do you mean to finish that pair of shoes to-day ? "
" I can't say that I mean to. I suppose so. I don't
But, the question reminded him of his work, and he
bent over it again.
Mr, Lorry came silently forward, leaving the daughter
by the door. When he had stood, for a minute or two,
by the side of Defarge, the shoemaker looked up. He
showed no surprise at seeing another figure, but the un-
steady fingers of one of his hands strayed to his lips as he
looked at it (bis lips and his nails were of the same pale
lead-color), and then the hand dropped to his work, and
he once more bent over the shoe. The look and the
action had occupied but an instant
" Tou have a visitor, you see," said Monsieur Defarge.
" What did you say ? "
" Here is a visitor."
The shoemaker looked up as before, but without re-
moving a hand from his work.
" Come ! " said Defarge. " Here is monsieur, who
knows a well-made shoe when he sees one. Show him
that shoe you are working at Take it, monsieur."
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 59
Mr. Lorry took it in his hand. '
" Tell monsieur what kind of shoe it is, and the maker's
There was a longer pause than usual, before the shoe-
maker replied, —
"I forget what it was you asked me. What did you
" I said, couldn't you describe the kind of shoe, for
"It is a lady's shoe. It is a young lady's walking-
shoe. It is in the present mode. I never saw the
mode. I have had a pattern in my hand." He glanced
at the shoe, with some little passing touch of pride.
" And the maker's name ? " said Defarge.
Now that he had no work to hold, he laid the knuckles
of the right hand in the hollow of the left, and then the
knuckles of the left hand in the hollow of the right, and
then passed a band across his bearded chin, and so on
in regular changes, without a moment's intermission.
The task of recalling him from the vacancy into which
he always sank when he had spoken, was like recalling
some very weak person from a swoon, or endeavoring,
in the hope of some disclosure, to stay the spirit of a
" Did you ask me for my name ? "
" Assuredly I did."
" One Hundred and Five, North Tower."
"Is that all?"
"One Hundred and Five, North Tower."
With a weary sound that was not a sigh, nor a groan,
he bent to work again, until the silence was again broken.
" You are not a shoemaker by trade F " said Mr. Lorry,
looking steadfastly at him.
60 A TALE OF "TWO CITIES.
His haggard eyes turned to Defarge aa if he would
have transferred die question to him ; but as no help
came from that quarter, they turned back on the ques-
tioner when they bad sought the ground.
" I am not a shoemaker by trade ? No, I was not a
shoemaker by trade. I — I learnt it here. I taught
myself. I asked leave to "
He lapsed away, even for minutes, ringing those
measured changes on his bands the whole time. His
eyes came slowly back, at last, to the face from which
they bad wandered ; when they rested on it, he started,
and resumed, in the manner of a sleeper tbat moment
awake, reverting to a subject of last night.
"I asked leave to teach myself, and I got it with
much difficulty after a long while, and I have made
shoes ever since."
Aa he held out his hand for the shoe that had been
taken from him, Mr. Lorry said, still looking steadfastly
in his face, —
"Monsieur Manette, do you remember nothing of
The shoe dropped to the ground, and he sat looking
fixedly at the questioner.
" Monsieur Manette ; " Mr. Lorry laid his band upon
Defarge's arm ; " do you remember nothing of this
man? Look at him. Look at me. Is there no old
banker, no old business, no old servant, no old time,
rising in your mind, Monsieur Manette ? "
As the captive of many years sat looking fixedly,
by turns at Mr. Lorry and at Defarge, some long-
obliterated marks of an actively intent intelligence in
the middle of tbe forehead gradually forced themselves
through the black mist that had fallen on him. They
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 61
were over-clouded again, they were fainter, they were
gone ; but, they had been there. And bo exactly was
the expression repeated on the fair young face of her
who had crept along the wall to a point where she
could see him, and where she now stood looking at
him, with hands which at first had been only raised in
frightened compassion, if not even to keep him off and
shut out the sight of him, but which were now extend-
ing towards him, trembling with eagerness to lay the
spectral face upon her warm young breast, and love it
back to life and hope — so exactly was the expression
repeated (though in stronger characters) on her fair
young face, that it looked as though it had passed, like
a moving light, from him to her.
Darkness had fallen on him in its place. He looked
at the two, less and less attentively, and his eyes in
gloomy abstraction sought the ground and looked about
him in the old way. Finally, with a deep, long sign,
he took the shoe up, and resumed his work.
"Have you recognised him, monsieur?" asked De-
farge, in a whisper.
" Yes ; for a moment- At first I thought it quite
hopeless, but I have un questionably seen, for a single
moment, the face that I once knew well. Hush 1 Let
us draw farther back. Hush I"
She bad moved from the wall of the garret, very
near to the bench on which he sat. There was some-
thing awful in his unconsciousness of the figure that could
have pat out its hand and touched him as he stooped over
Not a word was spoken, not a sound was made. She
stood, like a spirit, beside him, and he bent over bis
62 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
It happened, at length, that he had occasion to change
the instrument in his hand, for his shoemaker's knife.
It lay on that side of him which was not the side on
which she stood. He had taken it up, and was stoop-
ing to work again, when his eyes caught the skirt of
her dress. He raised them, and saw her face. The
two spectators started forward, but she stayed them
with a motion of her hand. She had no fear of his
striking at her with the knife, though they had.
He stared at her with a fearful look, and after a while
his lips began to form some words, though no sound
proceeded from them. By degrees, in the pauses of
his quick and labored breathing, he was beard to say :
"What is this!"
With the tears streaming down her face, she put her
two hands to her lips, and kissed them to bim ; then
clasped them on her breast, as if she laid his ruined
" You are not the jailer'3 daughter ? "
She signed " No."
u Who are you ? "
Not yet trusting the tones of her voice, she sat down
on the bench beside him. He recoiled, but she laid her
band upon his arm. A strange thrill struck him when
she did so, and visibly passed over his frame ; he laid
the knife down softly, as he sat staring at her.
Her golden bair, which she wore in long curls, had
been hurriedly pushed aside, and fell down over her
neck. Advancing his hand by little and little, be took
it np, and looked at it. In the midst of the action he
went astray, and, with another deep sigh, fell to work
at his shoe making.
But, not for long. Releasing his arm, she laid her
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 63
hand upon his shoulder. After looking doubtfully at it,
two or three times, as if to be sure that it was really
there, he laid down his work, put his hand to his neck,
and took off a blackened string with a scrap of folded
rag attached to it. He opened this, carefully, on his
knee, and it contained a very little quantity of hair : not
more than one or two long golden hairs, which he had, in
some old day, wound off upon his finger.
He took her hair into his hand again, and looked
closely at it- " It is the same. How can it he ! When
was it I How was it ! "
As the concentrating expression returned to his fore-
head, he seemed to become conscious that it was in hers
too. He turned her full to the light, and looked at
" She had laid her head upon my shoulder, that night
when I was summoned out — she had a fear of my going,
though I had none — and when I was brought to the
North Tower they found these upon my sleeve, ' Tou
will leave me them F They can never help me to escape
in the body, though they may in the spirit.* Those were
the words I said. I remember them very well."
He formed this speech with his lips many 'times before
he could utter it. But when he did find spoken words
for it, they came to him coherently, though slowly.
" How was this ? — Wat it you 1 "
Once more, the two spectators started, as he turned
upon her with a frightful suddenness. But, she sat per-
fectly still in his grasp, and only said, in a low voice, " I
entreat you, good gentlemen, do not come near us, do not
speak, do not move ! "
" Hark I " he exclaimed. " Whose voice was that ? "
His hands released her as he uttered this cry, and
64 A TALE OF TWO CITIES-
went up to hie white hair, which they tore in a frenzy.
It died out, as everything but his shoemaking did die out
of him, and he refolded his little packet and tried to
secure it in his breast ; but, he still looked at her, and
gloomily shook his head.
"No, no, no; you are too young, too blooming. It
can't be. See what the prisoner is. These are not the
bands she knew, this is not the face she knew, this is not
a voice she ever beard. No, no. She was — and He
was — before the slow years of the North Tower — ages
ago. What is your name, my gentle angel ? *
Hailing bis softened tone and manner, his daughter
fell npon her knees before him, with her appealing hands
upon his breast.
" Oh, sir, at another time you shall know my name, and
who my mother was, and who my father, and how I
never knew their hard, hard history. But I cannot tell
yon at this time, and I cannot tell you here. All that I
may tell you, here and now, is, that I pray to yon to
touch me and to bless me. Kiss me, kiss me ! Oh, my
dear, my dear ! ™
His cold white head mingled with her radiant hair,
which warmed and lighted it as though it were the light
of Freedom shining on him.
" If you hear in my voice — I don't know that it is
so, but I hope it is — if you hear in my voice any re-
semblance to a voice that once was sweet music in your
ears, weep for it, weep for it 1 If you touch, in touching
my hair, anything that recalls a beloved head that lay in
your breast when you were young and free, weep for it,
weep for it ! If, when I hint to yon of a Home there is
before us, where I will be trne to you with all my duty
and with all my faithful service, I bring back the remem-
A. TALE OF TWO CITIES. 65
brance of a Home long desolate, while your poor heart
pined away, weep for it, weep for it ! "
She held him closer round the neck, and rocked him
on her breast like a child.
" IF, when I tell you, dearest dear, that your agony is
over, and that I have come here to take you from it, and
that we go to England to be at peace and at rest, I cause
you to think of your useful life laid waste, and of our
native France so wicked to you, weep for it, weep for it I
And if, when I shall tell you of my name, and of my
father who is living, and of my mother who is dead, yon
learn that I have to kneel to my honored father, and im-
plore his pardon for having never for his sake striven all
day and lain awake and wept all night, because the love
of my poor mother hid his torture from me, weep for it,
weep for it! Weep for her, then, and for me ! Good
gentlemen, thank God! I feel his sacred tears upon my
face, and his sobs strike against my heart. Oh, see!
Thank God for us, thank God ! ■
He had sunk in her arms, with his face dropped on her
breast : a sight so touching, yet so terrible in the tremen-
dous wrong and suffering which had gone before it, that
the two beholders covered their faces.
When the quiet of the garret had been long undis-
turbed, and his heaving breast and shaken form had long
yielded to the calm that mnat follow all storms — emblem
to humanity, of the rest and silence into which the storm
called Life must hush at last — they came forward to
raise the father and daughter from the ground. He bad
gradually drooped to the floor, and lay there in a lethargy,
worn out She had nestled down with him, that his head
might lie upon her arm ; and her hair drooping over him
curtained him from the light.
66 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
" If, without disturbing him," she said, raising her hand
to Mr. Lorry as he stooped over them, after repeated
blowings of his nose, " all could be arranged for our leav-
ing Paris at once, so that, from the very door, he could
be taken away *
" But, consider. Is he fit for the journey ? " asked
" More fit for that, I think, than to remain in this city,
so dreadful to him."
" It is true,*' said Defarge, who was kneeling to look
on and hear. " More than that ; Monsieur Manette is,
for all reasons, best out of France. Say, shall I hire a
carriage and post-horses ? "
"That's business," said Mr. Lorry, resuming on the
shortest notice his methodical manners ; " and if business
is to be done, I had better do it"
" Then be so kind," urged Miss Manette, " as to leave
ns here. You see how composed he has become, and
you cannot be afraid to leave him with me now. Why
should yon be ? If you will lock the door to secure ns
from interruption, I do not doubt that you will find him,
when you come back, as quiet as you leave him. In any
case, I will take care of him until you return, and then
we will remove him straight."
Both Mr. Lorry and Defarge were rather disinclined
to this course, and in favor of one of them remaining.
But, as there were not only carriage and horses to be
seen to, but travelling papers ; and as time pressed, for
the day was drawing to an end, it came at last to their
hastily dividing the business that was necessary to be
done, and hurrying away to do it.
Then, as the darkness closed in, the daughter laid her
head down on the hard ground close at the father's side,
A TALE OF TWO CTTIE3. 67
Mid watered him. The darkness deepened and deepened,
and they both lay quiet, until a light gleamed through
the chinks in the wall.
Mr. Lorry and Monsieur Defargc had made all ready
for the journey, and bad brought with them, besides
travelling cloaks and wrappers, bread and meat, wine,
and hot coffee. Monsieur Defarge put this provender,
and the lamp he carried, on the shoemaker's bench (there
was nothing else in the garret but a pallet bed), and he
and Mr. Lorry roused the captive, and assisted him to his
No human intelligence could have read the mysteries
of his mind, in the scared blank wonder of his face.
Whether he knew what had happened, whether he recol-
lected what they had said to him, whether he knew that
he was free, were questions which no sagacity could
have solved. They tried speaking to him ; but, he was
so confused, and so very slow to answer, that they took
fright at his bewilderment, and agreed for the time to
tamper with him no more. He had a wild, lost manner
of occasionally clasping his head in his hands, that had
not been seen in him before ; yet, be had some pleasure
in the mere sound of his daughter's voice, and invariably
turned to it when she spoke.
In the submissive way of one long accustomed to obey
under coercion, be ate and drank what they gave him
to eat and drink, and put on the cloak and other wrap-
pings that they gave him to near. He readily responded
to his daughter's drawing her arm through his, and took
— and kept — her hand in both of his own.
They began to descend; Monsieur Defarge going first
with the lamp, Mr. Lorry closing the little procession.
They had not traversed many steps of the long main
68 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
staircase when he stopped, and stared at the roof add
round at the walls.
11 You remember the place, my father ? Ton remem-
ber coming up here ? "
" What did you say ? "
But, before she could repeat the question, he mur-
mured an answer as if she had repeated it
"Remember? No, I don't remember. It was so
very long ago."
That he had no recollection whatever of his having
been brought from his prison to that bouse, was appar-
ent to them. They heard him mutter, " One hundred
and five, North Tower;" and when he looked about
him, it evidently was for the strong fortress-walls which
had long encompassed bim. On their reaching the court-
yard, he instinctively altered his tread, as being in ex-
pectation of a drawbridge; and when there was no
drawbridge, and he saw the carriage waiting in the
open street, he dropped his daughter's hand and clasped
his bead again.
No crowd was about the door; no people were dis-
cernible at any of the many windows ; not even a chance
passer-by was in the street. An unnatural silence and
desertion reigned there. Only one soul was to be seen,
and that was Madame Defarge — who leaned against
the door-post, knitting, and saw nothing.
The prisoner had got into the coach, and his daughter
bad followed him, when Mr. Lorry's feet were arrested
on the step by his asking, miserably, for his shoemaking
tools and the unfinished shoes. Madame Defarge im-
mediately called to ber husband that she would get them,
and went, knitting, out of the lamplight, through the
court-yard. She quickly brought them down and handed
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 69
them in; — and immediately afterwards leaned against
the doorpost, knitting, and saw nothing.
Deterge got upon the box, and gave the word "To
the Barrier ! " The postilion cracked his whip, and
they clattered away under the feeble over-s winging
Under the over-swinging lamps — swinging ever
brighter in the better streets, and ever dimmer in the
worse — and by lighted shops, gay crowds, illuminated
coffee-houses, and theatre doors, to one of the city gates.
Soldiers with lanterns, at the guard-bouse there. " Tour
papers, travellers I " " See here then, Monsieur the
Officer," said Defarge, getting down, and taking him
gravely apart, " these are the papers of monsieur inside,
with the white head. They were consigned to me, with
him, at the " He dropped his voice, there was a
flatter among the military lanterns, and one of them being
handed into the coach by an arm in uniform, the eyes
connected with the arm looked, not an every da; or an
every night look, at monsieur with the white head. " It
is well. Forward ! " from the uniform. " Adieu ! "
from Defarge. And so, under a short grove of feebler
and feebler over-swinging lamps, out under the great
grove of stars.
Beneath that arch of unmoved and eternal lights r
some, so remote from this little earth that the learned
tell us it is doubtful whether their rays have even
yet discovered it, as a point in space where anything
is suffered or done ; the shadows of the night were
broad and black. All through the cold and restless
interval until dawn, they once more whispered in the
■ ears of Mr. Jarvis Lorry — sitting opposite the buried
man who had been dug out, and wondering what sub-
70 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
Ue powers were forever lost to him, and what were
capable of restoration — the old inquiry :
"I hope you care to be recalled to life?"
And the old answer :
"I can't Bay."
THE END OF THE FIRST BOOK.
A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
BOOK THE SECOND.
THE GOLDEN THREAD.
T/BSLSOH's Bank by Temple Bar was an old-fesh-
ioned place, even in the year one thousand seven
hundred and eighty. It was very small, very dark,
very ugly, very incommodious. It was an old-fash-
ioned place moreover, in the moral attribute that the
partners in the House were proud of its smallness,
proud of its darkness, proud of its ugliness, proud of
its mcommodiousness. They were even boastful of its
eminence in those particulars, and were fired by an
express conviction that, if it were less objectionable,
it would be less respectable. This was no passive be-
lief, but an active weapon which they flashed at more
convenient places of business. Tellson's (they said)
wanted no elbow-room, Tellson's wanted no light, Tell-
son's wanted no embellishment. Xoakes and Co. '9
might, or Snooks Brothers' might ; but Tellson's, thank
Heaven ! — —
Any one of these partners would bave disinherited
his sou on the question of rebuilding Tellson's. In
72 A TALE OF TITO CITIES.
this respect, the honse was much on a par with the
Country ; which did very often disinherit its sons for
suggesting improvements in laws and customs that had
long been highly objectionable, but were only the more
Thus it had come to pass, that Tellson's was the
triumphant perfection of inconvenience. After burst-
ing open a door of idiotic obstinacy with a weak rat-
tle in its throat, you fell into Tellson's down two
steps, and came to your senses in a miserable little
shop, with two little counters, where the oldest of
men made your check shake as if the wind rustled
it, while they examined the signature by the dingiest
of windows, which were always under a shower-bath
of mud from Fleet-street, and which were made the
dingier by their own iron bars proper, and the heavy
shadow of Temple Bar. If your business necessitated
your seeing " the. House," you were put into a species
of Condemned Hold at the back, where you meditated
on a misspent life, until the House came with its hands
in its pockets, and you could hardly blink at it in the
Tour money came out of, or went into, wormy old
wooden drawers, particles of which flew up your nose
and down your throat when they were opened and
shut Your bank-notes had a musty odor, as if they
were fast decomposing into rags again. Tour plate
was stowed away among the neighboring cesspools, and
evil communications corrupted its good polish in a day
or two. Your deeds got into extemporized strong-rooms
made of kitchens and sculleries, and fretted all the fat
out of their parchments into the banking-house air.
Your lighter boxes of family papers went up-stairs
A TALK OF TWO CITIES. 73
into a Barmecide room, that always had a great din-
ing-table in it and never had a dinner, and where,
even in the year one thousand seven hundred and
eighty, the first letters written to yon by your old
love, or by your little children, were but newly re-
leased from the horror of being ogled through the win-
dows, by the heads exposed on Tumble Bar with an
insensate bratality and ferocity worthy of Abyssinia
But, indeed, at that time, putting to Death was a
recipe much in vogue with all trades and professions,
and not least of all with Tellson's. Death is Na-
ture's remedy for all things, and why not Legisla-
tion's ? Accordingly, the forger was put to Death ;
the utterer of a bad note was put to Death ; the un-
lawful opener of a letter was put to Death ; the pur-
loiner of forty shillings and sixpence was put to
Death ; the holder of a horse at Tellson's door, who
made off with it, was put to Death ; the coiner of a
bad shilling was put to Death; the sounders of three-
fourths of the notes in the whole gamut of Crime, were
put to Death. Not that it did the least good in the
way of prevention — it might almost have been worth
remarking that the fact was exactly the reverse — but,
it cleared off (as to this world) the trouble of each
particular case, and left nothing else connected with it
to be looked after. Thus, Tellson's, in its day, like
greater places of business, its contemporaries, had
taken so many lives, that, if the heads laid low be-
fore it had been ranged on Temple Bar instead of
being privately disposed of, tbey would probably have
excluded what little light the ground floor had, in a
rather significant manner.
74 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
Cramped in all kinds of dim cupboards and batches
at Tellaon'fi, the oldest of men carried on the business
gravely. When they took a young man into Tellson's
London house, they hid him somewhere till he was
old. They kept him in a dark place, like a cheese,
until he had the full Tellson flavor and blue-mould
upon him. Then only was be permitted to be seen,
spectacularly poring over largo books, and casting his
breeches and gaiters into the general weight of the
Outside Tellson's — never by any means in it, on-
less called in — was an odd-job-man, an occasional por-
ter and messenger, who served as the live sign of the
house. He was never absent during business hoars,
unless upon an errand, and then he was represented
by his son : a grisly urchin of twelve, who was his
express image. People understood that Tellson's, in a
stately way, tolerated the odd-job-man. The house had
always tolerated some person in (hat capacity, and time
and tide had drifted this person to the post His sur-
name was Cruncher, and on the youthful occasion of
his renouncing by proxy the works of darkness, in the
easterly parish church of Houndsditch, he had received
the added appellation of Jerry.
The scene, was Mr. Cruncher's private lodging in
Hanging-sword-alley, Whitefriars ; the time, half past
seven of the clock on a windy March morning. Anno
Domini seventeen hundred and eighty. (Mr. Cruncher
himself always spoke of the year of our Lord as An-
na Dominoes : apparently under the impression that
the Christian era dated from the invention of a popu-
lar game, by a lady who had bestowed her name upon
io S Ic
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 76
Mr. Cruncher's apartments were not In a savory
neighborhood, and were but two in number, even if a
Closet with a single pane of glass in it might be counted
as one. Bat, they were very decently kept Early as
it was, on the windy March morning, the room in
which he lay abed was already scrubbed throughout;
and between the caps and saucers arranged for break-
fast, and the lumbering deal table, a very clean white
cloth was spread.
Mr. Cruncher reposed under a patchwork counter-
pane, like a Harlequin at home. At first, he slept
heavily, but, by degrees, began to roll and surge in
bed, until he rose above the surface, with his spiky
hair looking as if it must tear the sheets to ribbons.
At which juncture, he exclaimed, in a voice of dire
" Bust me, if she a'n't at it agin ! "
A woman of orderly and industrious appearance
rose from her knees in a corner, with sufficient haste
and trepidation to show that she was the person re-
" What ! " said Mr. Cruncher, looking out of bed
for a boot. "You're at it agin, are you?"
After nailing the morn with this second salutation,
he threw a boot at the woman as a third. It was a
very muddy boot, and may introduce the odd circum-
stance connected with Mr. Cruncher's domestic econ-
omy, that, whereas he often came home after banking
hours with clean boots, he often got up next morning
to find the same boots covered with clay.
" What," said Mr. Cruncher, varying his apostrophe
after missing his mark — "what are you up to, Agger-
awayter ? "
76 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
"I was only saying my prayers."
" Saying yonr prayers. You're a nice woman !
What do you mean by flopping yourself down and
praying agin me ? "
" I was not praying against you ; I was praying
" You weren't. And if you were, I won't be took
the liberty with. Here I your mother's a nice woman,
young Jerry, going a-praying agin yonr father's pros-
perity. You're got a dutiful mother, you have, my
son, You've got a religions mother, you have, my
boy : going and flopping herself down, and praying
that die bread-and-butter may be snatched out of the
mouth of her only child 1 " ■
Master Cruncher (who was in his shirt) took this
very ill, and, turning to his mother, strongly depre-
cated any praying away of his personal board.
" And what do you suppose, you conceited female,"
said Mr. Cruncher, with unconscious inconsistency,
" that the worth of your prayers may be ? Name the
price that you put your prayers at ! "
"They only come from the heart, Jerry. They are
worth no more than that."
" Worth no more than that," repeated Mr. Cruncher.
"They a'n't worth much, then. Whether or no, I
won't be prayed agin, I tell yon. I can't afford it.
I'm not a-going to be made unlucky by your sneaking.
If you must go flopping yourself down, flop in favor
of your husband and child, and not in opposition to
'em. If I had had any but a unnatural wife, and this
poor boy had had any but a unnat'ral mother, I might
have made some money last week, instead of being
counterprayed and countermined and religiously cir-
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 77
eumwented into the worst of lack. Bu-ii-nst me ! "
said Mr. Cruncher, who all this time had been pat-
ting on his clothes, " if I a'n't, what with piety and
one blowed thing and another, been choused this last
week into as bad luck as ever a poor devil of a
honest tradesman met with I Yonng Jerry, dress your-
self, my boy, and while I clean my boots keep a eye
upon your mother now and then, and if you see any
signs of more flopping, give me a call. For, I tell
you," here he addressed his wife once more, " I won't
be gone agin, in this manner. I am as rickety as a
hackney-coach, I'm as sleepy as laudanum, my lines
is strained to that degree that I shouldn't know, if it
wasn't for the pain in 'm, which was me and which.
somebody else, yet I'm none the better for it in
pocket; and it's my suspicion that you've been at it
from morning to night to prevent me from being the
better for it in pocket, and I won't put up with it,
Aggerawayter, and what do you say now 1 "
Growling, in addition, such phrases as " Ah 1 yea !
You're religious, too. You wouldn't put yourself in
opposition to the interests of your husband and child,
would you ? Not you I " and throwing off other sar-
castic sparks from the whirling grindstone of his indig-
nation, Mr. Cruncher betook himself to his boot-clean-
ing and his general preparations for business. In the
mean time, his son, whose head was garnished with
tenderer, spikes, and whose young eyes stood close by
one another, as bis father's did, kept the required
watch upon his mother. He greatly disturbed that
poor woman at intervals, by darting out of his sleep-
ing closet, where he made his toilet, with a suppressed
cry of "You are going to flop, mother. — Halloa, fa-
78 A TALE OF TWO CIlTEa.
therl" and, after raising this fictitious alarm, darting
in again with an undutiful grin.
Mr. Cruncher's temper was not at all improved when
lie came to his breakfast He resented Mrs. Cruncher's
saving Grace with particular animosity.
" Now, Aggerawayter I What are you up to ? At
it agin ? "
His wife explained that she had merely "asked a
" Don't do it ! " said Mr. Cruncher, looking about, as
if be rather expected to see the loaf disappear under the
efficacy of his wife's petitions. "I a'n't a-going to be
blest out of house and home. I won't have my wittles
blest off my table. Keep still ! "
Exceedingly red-eyed and grim, as if he had been up
all night at a party which had taken anything but a con-
vivial turn, Jerry Cruncher worried his breakfast rather
than ate it, growling over it like any four-footed inmate
of a menagerie. Towards nine o'clock he smoothed his
ruffled aspect, and, presenting as respectable and busi-
ness-like an exterior as he could overlay his natural self
with, issued forth to the occupation of the day.
It could scarcely be called a trade, in spite of his
favorite description of himself as " a honest tradesman."
His stock consisted of a wooden stool, made out of a
broken-backed chair cut down, which stool Toung Jerry,
walking at his father's side, carried every morning to
beneath the banking-house window that was nearest
Temple Bar : where, with the addition of the first hand-
ful of straw that eould be gleaned from any passing
vehicle to keep the cold and wet from the odd-job -man's
feet, it formed the encampment for the day. On this
post of his, Mr. Cruncher was as well known to Fleet-
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 79
street and the Temple, as the Bar itself — and was almost
as ill -looking.
Encamped at a quarter before nine, in good time to
touch his three-cornered hat to the oldest of men as they
passed in to Tellson's, Jerry took up his station on this
windy March morning, with young Jerry standing by
him, when not engaged in making forays through the
Bar, to inflict bodily and mental injuries of an acute
description on passing boys who were small enough for
his amiable purpose. Father and son, extremely like
each other, looking silently on at the morning traffic in
Fleet-street, with their two heads as near to one another
as the two eyes of each were, bore a considerable resem-
blance to a pair of monkeys. The resemblance was not
lessened by the accidental circumstance, that the mature
Jerry bit and spat out straw, while the twinkling eyes of
the youthful Jerry were as restlessly watchful of him at
of everything else in Fleet-street.
The head of one of the regular in-door messengers
attached to Tollsou'e establishment was put through the
door, and the word was given :
" Porter wanted I "
" Hooray, father ! Here's an early job to begin
Having thus given his parent God-speed, Young Jerry
seated himself on the stool, entered on his reversionary
interest in the straw his father had been chewing, and
" Al-ways rusty I His fingers is al-ways rusty I "
muttered young Jerry. " Where does my father get
all that iron rust from P He don't get no iron rust
A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
" You know the Old Bailey well, no doubt ? " said
one of the oldest of clerks to Jerry the messenger.
" Te-es, sir," returned Jerry, in something of a dogged
manner. "1 do know the Bailey."
" Just so. And you know Mr. Lorry."
" I know Mr. Lorry, sir, much better than I know the
Bailey. Much better," said Jerry, not unlike a reluctant
witness at the establishment in question, "than. I, as a
honest tradesman, wish to know the Bailey."
" Very well. Find the door where the witnesses go
in, and show the door-keeper this note for Mr. Lorry.
He will then let you in."
" Into the court, sir ? "
" Into the court."
Mr. Cruncher's eyes seemed to get a little closer to
one another, and to interchange the inquiry, " What do
you think of this F "
" Am I to wait in the court, sir ? " he asked, as the
result of that conference.
" I am going to tell you. The door-keeper will pass
the note to Mr. Lorry, and do yon make any gesture
that will attract Mr. Lorry's attention, and show him
where you stand. Then what you have to do, is, to
remain there until he wants yon."
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 81
"Is that all, sir?"
" That's all. He wishes to have a messenger at hand.
This is to tell him 70a are there."
As the ancient clerk deliberately folded and super-
scribed the note, Mr. Cruncher, after surveying him in
silence until he came to the blotting-paper stage, re-
" I suppose they'll be trying Forgeries this morning ? "
" That's quartering," said Jerry. " Barbarous ! "
" It ia the law," remarked the ancient clerk, turning
his surprised spectacles upon him, " It is the law."
" It's hard in the law to spile a man, I think. It's
hard enough to kill him, but it's wery hard to spile him,
" Not at all," returned the ancient clerk. " Speak
well of the law. Take care of your chest and voice, my
good friend, and leave the law to take care of itself. I
give you that advice."
" If s the damp, sir, that settles on my chest and
voice," said Jerry. " I leave you to judge what a damp
way of earning a living mine is."
" Well, well," said the old clerk ; "we all have our
various ways of gaining a livelihood. Some of us have
damp ways, and some of us have dry ways. Here is the
letter. Go along."
Jerry took the letter, and, remarking to himself with
less internal deference than he made an outward show
of, " Tou are a lean old one, too," made his bow, in-
formed his son, in passing, of his destination, and went
They hanged at Tyburn, in those days, so the street
outside Newgate had not obtained one infamous no-
82 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
toriety that has since attached to it But, the jail waa
a vile place, in which most kinds of debauchery and
villaiiy were practised, and where dire diseases were
bred, that came into court with the prisoners, and some-
times rushed straight from the dock at my Lord Chief
Justice himself, and pulled him off the bench. It had
more than once happened, that the judge in the black
cap pronounced his own doom as certainly as the prison-
er's, and even died before him. For the rest, the Old
Bailey was famous as a kind of deadly inn-yard, from
which pale travellers set ont continually, in carts and
coaches, on a violent passage into the other world : trav-
ersing some two miles and a half of public street and
road, and shaming few good citizens, if any. So power-
ful is use, and so desirable to be good use in the begin-
ning. It was famous, too, for the pillory, a wise old
institution, that inflicted a punishment of which no one
could foresee the extent ; also, for the whipping-post,
another dear old institution, very humanizing and soften-
ing to behold in action ; also, for extensive transactions
in blood-money, another fragment of ancestral wisdom,
systematically leading to the most frightful mercenary
crimes that could be committed under Heaven. Alto-
gether, the Old Bailey, at that date, was a choice illus-
tration of the precept, that " Whatever is is right ; " an
aphorism that would be as final as it is lazy, did it not
include the troublesome consequence, that nothing that
ever was, was wrong.
Making his way through the tainted crowd, dispersed
tip and down this hideous scene of action, with the skill
of a man accustomed to make his way quietly, the mes-
senger found out the door he sought, and handed in his
letter through a trap in it. For, people then paid to see
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 83
the play at the Old Bailey, just as they paid to see the
play in Bedlam — only the former entertain meat was
much the dearer. Therefore, all the Old Bailey doors
were well guarded — except, indeed, the social doors by
which the criminals got there, and they were always left
After some delay and demur, the door grudgingly
turned on its hinges a very little way, and allowed Mr.
Jerry Cruncher to squeeze himself into court.
" "What's on ?" he asked, in a whisper, of the man he
found himself next to.
" Nothing yet"
" What's coming on ?"
■ The Treason case."
" The quartering one, eh ? "
" Ah I " returned the man, with a relish j " hell be
drawn on a hurdle to be half hanged, and then hell be
taken down and sliced before his own face, and then his
inside will be taken out and burnt while he looks on, and
then his head will be chopped off, and hell be cut into
quarters. That's the sentence."
"If he's found Guilty, you mean to say?" Jerry
added, by way of proviso.
" Oh ! they'll find him Guilty," said the other. " Don't
yon be afraid of that."
Mr. Cruncher's attention was here diverted to the
door-keeper, whom he saw making his way to Mr. Lorry,
with the note in his hand. Mr. Lorry sat at a table,
among the gentlemen in wigs : not far from a wigged
gentleman, the prisoner's counsel, who had a great bundle
of papers before him : and nearly opposite another wigged
gentleman with bis hands in his pockets, whose whole
attention, when Mr. Cruncher looked at him then or
84 A. TALE OF TWO CITIES.
afterwards, seemed to be concentrated on the ceiling of
the court. After some gruff coughing and rubbing of
his chin and signing with his hand, Jerry attracted the
notice of Mr. Lorry, who had stood up to look for him,
and who quietly nodded, and sat down again.
'■ What's he got to do with the case ? " asked the man
be had spoken with.
u Blest if I know," said Jerry.
" What have you got to do with it, then, if a person
may inquire ? "
" Blest if I know that, either," said Jerry.
The entrance of the Judge, and a consequent great
stir and settling-down in the court, stopped the dialogue.
Presently, the dock became the central point of interest
Two jailers, who had been standing there, went out,
and the prisoner was brought in, and put to the bar.
Everybody present, except the one wigged gentleman
who looked at the ceiling, stared at him. All the human
breath in the place, rolled at him, like a sea, or a wind,
or a fire. Eager faces strained round pillars and corners,
to get a sight of him ; spectators in back rows stood up,
not to miss a hair of him ; people on the floor of the
court, laid their hands on the shoulders of the people
before them, to help themselves, at anybody's cost, to a
view of him — stood a-tiptoe, got upon ledges, stood upon
next to nothing, to see every inch of him. Conspicuous
among these latter, like an animated bit of the spiked
wall of Newgate, Jerry stood : aiming at the prisoner
the beery breath of a whet lie had taken as he came
along, and discharging it to mingle with the waves of
other beer, and gin, and tea, and coffee, and what not,
that flowed at him, and already broke upon the great
windows behind him in an impure mist and rain.
A TALE OP TWO CITIES. 85
The object of all this staring and blaring, was a young
man of about five-and- twenty, well-grown and well-look-
ing, with a sunburnt cheek and a dark eye. His condi-
tion was that of a young gentleman. He was plainly
dressed in black, or very dark gray, and his hair, which
was long and dark, was gathered in a ribbon at the back
of his neck : more to be out of his way than for orna-
ment. As an emotion of the mind will express itself
through any covering of the body, so the paleness which
his situation engendered came through the brown upon
his cheek, showing the soul to be stronger than the son.
He was otherwise quite self-possessed, bowed to the
Judge, and stood quiet
The sort of interest with which this man was stared
and breathed at, was not a sort that elevated humanity.
Had he stood in peril of a less horrible sentence — had
there been a chance of any one of its savage details being
spared — by just so much would he have lost in his fasci-
nation. The form that was to be doomed to be so shame-
fully mangled, was the sight ; the immortal creature that
was to be so butchered and torn asunder, yielded the sen-
sation. Whatever gloss the various spectators put upon
the interest, according to their several arts and powers of
self-deceit, the interest was, at the root of it, Ogreish.
Silence in the court 1 Charles Darnay had yesterday
pleaded Not Guilty to an indictment denouncing him
(with infinite jingle and jangle) for that he was a false
traitor to our serene, illustrious, excellent, and so forth,
prince, our Lord the King, by reason of his having, on
divers occasions, and by divers means and ways, assisted
Lewis, the French King, in his wars against our said
serene, illustrious, excellent, and so forth ; that was to
say, by coming and going between the dominions of our
86 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
said serene, illustrious, excellent, and so forth, and those
of the said French Lewis, and wickedly, falsely, traitor-
ously, and otherwise evil-adverbiously, revealing to the
said French Lewis what forces our said serene, illus-
trious, excellent, and so forth, had in preparation to send
to Canada and North America. This much, Jerry, with
his head becoming more and more spiky as the law terms
bristled it, made out with huge satisfaction, and so arrived
circuitously at the understanding that the aforesaid, and
over and over again aforesaid, Charles Darnay, stood
there before him upon his trial ; that the jury were
swearing in ; and that Mr. Attorney- General was making
ready to speak.
The accused, who was (and who knew he was) being
mentally hanged, beheaded, and quartered, by everybody
there, neither flinched from the situation, nor assumed
any theatrical air in it He was quiet and attentive ;
watched the opening proceedings with a grave interest ;
and stood with his hands resting on the slab of wood be-
fore him, so composedly, that they had not displaced a
leaf of the herbs with which it was strewn. The court
was all bestrewn with herbs and sprinkled with vinegar,
as a precaution against jail air and jail fever.
Over the prisoner's head, there was a mirror, to throw
the light down upon him. Crowds of the wicked and the
wretched had been reflected in it, and had passed from
its surface and this earth's together. Haunted in a most
ghastly manner that abominable place would have been,
if the glass could ever have rendered back its reflections,
as the ocean is one day to give up its dead. Some pass-
ing thought of the infamy and disgrace for which it bad
been reserved, may have struck the prisoner's mind. Be
that as it may, a change in bis position making him con-
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 87
Hcious of a bar of light across his face, he looked up ; and
when he saw the glass his face flushed, and his right hand
pushed the herbs away.
It happened, that the action turned his face to that
side of the court which was on his left. About on a level
with his eyes, there sat, in that corner of the Judge's
bench, two persons upon whom his look immediately
rested ; so immediately, and so much to the changing of
his aspect, that all the eyes that were turned upon him,
turned to them.
The spectators saw in the two figures, a young lady of
little more than twenty, and a gentleman who was evi-
dently her father; a man of a very remarkable appear-
ance in respect of the absolute whiteness of his hair, and
a certain indescribable intensity of face : not of an active
kind, but pondering and self-wmrauning. When'thia ex-
pression was upon him, he looked as if he were old ; but,
when it was stirred and broken up' — as it was now, in a
moment, on his speaking to his daughter — he became a
handsome man, not past the prime of life.
His daughter had one of her hands drawn through his
arm, as she sat by him, and the other pressed upon it.
She had drawn close to him, in her dread of the scene,
and in her pity for the prisoner. Her forehead had been
strikingly expressive of an engrossing terror and compas-
sion that saw nothing but the peril of the accused. This
had been so very noticeable, so very powerfully and natu-
rally shown, that starers who had had no pity for him
were touched by her ; and the whisper went about,
"Who are they?"
Jerry the messenger, who had made his own observa-
tions in his own manner, and who bad been sucking the
rust off his fingers in bis absorption, stretched his neck to
88 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
hear who they were. The crowd about him had pressed
and passed the inquiry on to the nearest attendant, and
from him it had been more slowly pressed and passed
back ; at last it got to Jerry :
" For which side'? "
" Against what side ?"
u The prisoner's."
The Judge, whose eyes had gone in the general direc-
tion, recalled them, leaned back in his seat and looked
steadily at the man whose life was in his hand, as Mr.
Attorney- Gen era! rose to spin the rope, grind the axe,
and hammer the nails into the scaffold.
A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
Mb. Attorney- General had to inform the jury,
that the prisoner before them, though young in years,
was old in the treasonable practices which claimed the
forfeit of his life. That this correspondence with the
public enemy was not a correspondence of to-day, or of
yesterday, or even of last year, or of the year before.
That, it was certain the prisoner had, for longer than
that, been in the habit of passing and repassing between
France and England, on secret business of which he
could give no honest account That, if it were in the
nature of traitorous ways to thrive (which, happily, it
never was), the real wickedness and guilt of his business
might have remained undiscovered. That, Providence,
however, had put it into the heart of a person who was
beyond fear and beyond reproach, to ferret out the na-
ture of the prisoner's schemes, and, struck with horror,
to disclose them to his Majesty's Chief Secretary of State
and most honorable Privy Council. That, this patriot
would be produced before them. That, his position and
attitude were, on the whole, sublime. That, he had been
the prisoner's friend, but, at once in an auspicious and an
evil hour detecting his infamy, had resolved to immolate
the traitor he could no longer cherish in his bosom, on
the sacred altar of his country. That, if statues were
90 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
decreed in Britain, as in ancient Greece and Borne, to
public benefactors, this shining citizen wonld assuredly
have had one. That, as they were not so decreed, he
probably would not haye one. That, Virtue, as bad been
observed by the poets (in many passages which he well
knew the jury would have, word for word, at the tips of
their tongues ; whereat the jnry's countenances displayed
a guilty consciousness that they knew nothing about the
passages), was in a manner contagious ; more especially
the bright virtue known as patriotism, or love of country.
That, the lofty example of this immaculate and unim-
peachable witness for the Crown, to refer to whom how-
ever unworthily was an honor, had communicated itself
to the prisoner's servant, and had engendered in him a
holy determination to examine his master's table-drawers
and pockets, and secrete his papers. That, he (Mr.
Attorney-General) was prepared to hear some dispar-
agement attempted of this admirable servant ; but that, in
a general way, he preferred bun to his (Mr. Attorney-
General's) brothers and sisters, and honored him more
than his (Mr. Attorney- General's) father and . mother.
That, he called with confidence on the jury to come and
do likewise. That, the evidence of these two witnesses,
coupled with the documents of their discovering that
would be produced, would Bhow the prisoner to have
been furnished with lists of his Majesty's forces, and of
their disposition and preparation, both by sea and land,
and would leave no doubt that he had habitually con-
veyed such information to a hostile power. That, these
lists could not be proved to be in the prisoner's hand-
writing ; but that it was all the same ; that, indeed, it
was rather the better for the prosecution, as showing the
prisoner to be artful in his precautions. That, the proof
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 91
would go back five years, and would show the prisoner
already engaged in these pernicious missions, within a
few weeks before the date of the very first action fought
between the British troops and the Americans. That,
for these reasona, the jury, being a loyal jury (as he
knew they were), and being a responsible jury (as they
knew they were), must positively find the prisoner
Guilty, and make an end of him, whether they liked it
or noL That, they never could lay their heads upon
their pillows ; that, they never could tolerate the idea of
their wives laying their heads upon their pillows ; that,
they never could endure the notion of their children lay-
ing their heads upon their pillows ; in short, that there
never more could be, for them or theirs, any laying of
heads upon pillows at all, unless the prisoner's head was
taken off. That head Mr. Attorney- General concluded
by demanding of them, in the name of, everything he
could think of with a round turn in it, and on the faith
of his solemn asseveration that he already considered the
prisoner as good as dead and gone.
When the Attorney-General ceased, a buzz arose in
the court as if a cloud of great blue-flies were swarming
about the prisoner, in anticipation of what he was soon to
become. When it toned down again, the unimpeachable
patriot appeared in the witness-box.
Mr. Solicitor- General then, following his leader's lead,
examined the patriot : John Barsad, gentleman, by name.
The story of his pure soul was exactly what Mr. Attor-
ney-General had described it to be — perhaps, if it had
a fault, a little too exactly. Having released his noble
bosom of its burden, he would have modestly withdrawn
himself, but that the wigged gentleman with the papers
before him, sitting not far from Mr. Lorry, begged to ask
92 A TALK OF TWO CITIES.
him a few questions. The wigged gentleman sitting
opposite, still looked at the ceiling of the court.
Had he ever been a spy himself? No, he scorned the
base insinuation. What did be live upon? His prop-
erty. Where was his property? He didn't precisely
remember where it was. What was it ? No business
of anybody's. Had he inherited it ? Yes, be had. From
whom? Distant relation. Very distant? Bather. Ever
been in prison? Certainly not Never in a debtors*
prison ? Didn't see what that had to do with it. Never
in a debtors* prison ? — Come, once again. Never ? Yes.
How many times ? Two or three times. Not five or
six ? Perhaps. Of what profession ? Gentleman. Ever
been kicked ? Might have been. Frequently ? No.
Ever kicked down-stairs ? Decidedly not ; once re-
ceived a kick on the top of a staircase, and fell down-
stairs of his own accord. Kicked on that occasion for
cheating at dice ? Something to that effect was said by
the intoxicated liar who committed the assault, but it was
not true. Swear it was not true? Positively. Ever
live by cheating at play? Never. Ever live by play ?
Not more than other gentlemen do. Ever borrow money
of the prisoner ? Yes. Ever pay him ? No. Was not
this intimacy with the prisoner, in reality a very slight
one, forced upon the prisoner in coaches, inns, and pack-
ets ? No. Sure he saw the prisoner with these lists ?
Certain. Knew no more about the lists? No. Had
not procured them himself, for instance ? No. Expect
to get anything by this evidence ? No. Not in regular
government pay and employment, to lay traps ? Oh, dear,
No. Or to do anything? Oh, dear, no. Swear that?
Over and over again. No motives but motives of sheer
patriotism ? None whatever.
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 93
The virtuous servant, Roger Cly, swore his way
through the case at a great rate. He had taken service
with the prisoner, in good faith and simplicity, four years
ago. He had asked the prisoner, aboard the Calais
packet, if he wanted a handy fellow, and the prisoner
had engaged him. He had not asked the prisoner to
take the bandy fellow as an act of charity — never
thought of such a thing. He began to have suspicions
of the prisoner, and to keep an eye upon him, soon after-
wards. In arranging his clothes, while travelling, he had
seen similar lists to these in the prisoner's pockets, over
and over again. He had taken these lists from the
drawer of the prisoner's desk. He had not put them
there first He had seen the prisoner show these identi-
cal lists to French gentlemen at Calais, and similar lists
to French gentlemen, both at Calais and Boulogne. He
loved his country, and couldn't bear it, and had given
information. He had never been suspected of stealing a
silver teapot ; he had been maligned respecting a mus-
tard-pot, but it turned out to be only a plated one. He
had known the last witness seven or eight years ; that
was merely a coincidence. He didn't call it a partic-
ularly curious coincidence ; most coincidences were curi-
ous. Neither did he call it a curious coincidence that
true patriotism was Am only motive' too. He was a true
Briton, and hoped there were many like him.
The blue-flies buzzed again, and Mr. Attorney-Gen-
eral called Mr. Jarvis Lorry.
"Mr. Jarvis Lorry, are you a clerk in Tellson's
« I am."
" On a certain Friday night in November one thou-
sand seven hundred and seventy-five, did business occa-
94 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
sion you to travel between London and Dover by the
mail ? "
" Were there any other passengers in the mail ?"
u Did they alight on the road in the course of the
night ? "
« They did."
" Mr. Lorry, look upon the prisoner. Was he one of
those two passengers ?"
" I cannot undertake to say that he was."
"Does he resemble either of those two passengers?"
" Both were so wrapped np, and the night was so dark,
and we were all so reserved, that I cannot undertake to
say even that."
" Mr. Lorry, look again upon the prisoner. Suppos-
ing him wrapped up as those two passengers were, is
there anything in his bulk and stature to render it un-
likely that he was one of them ? "
'• You will not swear, Mr. Lorry, that he was not one
of them ? "
" So at least yon say he may have been one of them ? "
"Yes. Except that I remember them both to hare
been — like myself — timorous of highwaymen, and the
prisoner has not a timorous air."
" Did you ever see a counterfeit of timidity, Mr.
" I certainly have seen that,"
" Mr. Lorry, look once more upon the prisoner. Have
you seen him, to your certain knowledge, before ? "
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 95
" I was returning from France a Few days afterwards,
and, at Calais, the prisoner came on board the packet-
ship in which I returned, and made the voyage with
" At what hoar did he come on board ? "
"Ala little after midnight."
" In the dead of the night. Was he the only passen-
ger who came on board at that untimely hour?"
" He happened to be the only one."
" Never mind about ' happening,' Mr. Lorry. He was
the only passenger who came on board in the dead of
"Were you travelling alone, Mr. Lorry, or with any
companion ? "
" With two companions. A gentleman and lady. They
" They are here. Had you any conversation with the
prisoner ? "
" Hardly any. The weather was stormy, and the
passage long and rough, and I lay on a sofa, almost from
shore to shore."
" Miss Manette ! "
The young lady, to whom all eyes had been turned
before, and were now turned again, stood up where she
had sat Her father rose with her, and kept her hand
drawn through his arm.
" Miss Manette, look upon the prisoner."
To be confronted with such pity, and such earnest
youth and beauty, was far more trying to the accused
than to be confronted with all the crowd. Standing, as
it were, apart with her on the edge of his grave, not
96 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
all the staring curiosity that looked on, oould, for the
moment, nerve him to remain quite still. His harried
right hand parcelled ont the herbs before him into imag-
inary beds of flowers in a garden ; and his efforts to
control and steady his breathing, shook the lips from
which the color rushed to his heart. Tbe buzz of the
great flies was loud again.
« Miss Manette, bave yon seen the prisoner before ?"
" Tea, sir."
"On board of the packet-ship just now referred to,
sir, and on the same occasion."
" Ton are the young lady just now referred to ?"
" Oh ! most unhappily, I am ! "
The plaintive tone of her compassion merged into the
less musical voice of the Judge, as he stud, something
fiercely : " Answer the questions put to you, and make
no remark upon them."
" Miss Manette, had you any conversation with the
prisoner on that passage across the Channel?"
" Yes, sir,"
" Recall it"
In the midst of a profound stillness, she faintly began :
" When the gentleman came on board "
" Do yon mean the prisoner f " inquired the Judge,
knitting his brows.
" Yes, my Lord."
" Then say the prisoner."
■ When the prisoner came on board, he noticed that
my father," turning her eyes lovingly to him as he stood
beside her, "was much fatigued and in a very weak state
of health' . My father was so reduced, that I was afraid
to take him out of the air, and I had made a bed for him
A TALE OP TWO CITIES. 97
on the deck Dear the cabin-steps, and I eat on the deck
at his side to take care of him. There were no other
passengers that night, but we four. The prisoner was
so good as to beg permission to advise me bow I could
shelter my father from the wind and weather, better than
I had done. I had not known how to do it well, not
understanding how (he wind would set when we were
out of the harbor. He did it for me. He expressed
great gentleness and kindness for my father's state, and
I am sure he felt it. That was the manner of our begin-
ning to speak together."
" Let me interrupt yon for a moment. Had be come
on board alone F "
" How many were with him ? "
" Two French gentlemen."
" Had they conferred together ? "
" They had conferred together until the last moment,
when it was necessary for the French gentlemen to be
landed in their boat.''
" Had any papers been handed about among them,
similar to these lists ? "
" Some papers had been banded about among them,
but I don't know what papers."
" Like these in shape and size ? "
" Possibly, but indeed I don't know, although they
stood whispering very near to me: because they stood
at the top of the cabin-steps to have the light of the lamp
that was hanging there ; it was a dull lamp, and they
spoke very low, and I did not hear what they said, and
saw only that they looked at papers."
" Now, to the prisoner's conversation, Miss Manette."
" The prisoner was as open in his confidence with mo
98 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
— which arose out of my helpless situation — as he was
kind, and good, and useful to my father. I hope," burst-
ing into tears, " I may not repay him by doing him harm
Buzzing from the blue-flies.
" Miss Manetle, if the prisoner does not perfectly un-
derstand that you give the evidence which it is your duty
to give — which you must give — and which you cannot
escape from giving — with great unwillingness, he is the
only person present in that condition. Please to go
" He told me that he was travelling on business of a
delicate and difficult nature, wfoicb might get people into
trouble, and that be was therefore travelling under an
assumed name. He said that this business had, within
a few days, taken him to France, and might, at intervals,
take him backwards and forwards between France and
England for a long time to come."
" Did he say anything about America, Miss Manette ?
" He tried to explain to me how that quarrel had
arisen, and he said that, so far as he could judge, it was
a wrong and foolish one on England's part. He added,
in a jesting way, that perhaps George Washington might
gain almost as great a name in history as George the
Third. But there was no barm in his way of saying
this : it was said laughingly, and to beguile the time."
Any strongly marked expression of face on the part
of a chief actor in a scene of great interest to whom
many eyes are directed, will be unconsciously imitated
by the spectators. Her forehead was painfully anxious
and intent as she gave this evidence, and, in the pauses
when she stopped for the Judge to write it down, watched
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 99
its effect upon the Counsel for and against. Among the
lookers-on there was the same expression in all quarters
of the court ; insomuch, that a great majority of the
foreheads there, might have been mirrors reflecting the
witness, when the Judge looked up (torn his notes to
glare at that tremendous heresy about George Wash-
Mr. Attorney- General now signified to my Lord, that
he deemed it necessary, as a matter of precaution and
form, to call the young lady's father, Doctor Manette.
Who was called accordingly.
" Doctor Manette, look upon the prisoner. Have you
ever seen him before ? *
" Once. When he called at my lodgings in London.
Some three years, or three years and a half, ago."
" Can you identify him as your fellow-passenger on
board the packet, or speak to his conversation with your
daughter ? "
" Sir, I can do neither."
" Is there any particular and special reason for your
being unable to do either F "
He answered, in a low voice, " There is."
" Has it been your misfortune to undergo a long im-
prisonment, without trial, or even accusation, in your
native country, Doctor Manette ? "
He answered, in a tone that went to every heart,
"A long imprisonment."
" Were you newly released on the occasion in ques-
" They tell me so."
" Have you no remembrance of the occasion ?"
" None. My mind is a blank, from some time — I
cannot even say what time — when I employed myself,
100 A. TILE OP TWO CITIES.
in my captivity, in making shoes, to the time when I
found myself living in London with my dear daughter
here. She had become familiar to me, when a gracious
God restored my faculties ; bat, J am quite unable even
to say how she had become familiar. I have no remem-
brance of the process."
Mr. Attorney-General sat down, and the father and
daughter sat down together.
A singular circumstance then arose in the case. The
object in hand, being, to show that the prisoner went
down, with some fellow-plotter untracked, in the Dover
mail on that Friday night in November five years ago,
and got out of the mail in the night, as a blind, at a
place where he did not remain, but from which he trav-
elled back some dozen miles or more, to a garrison and
dockyard, and there collected information ; a witness was
called to identify him as having been at the precise time
required, in the coffee-room of an hotel in that garrison-
and-dockyard town, waiting for another person. The
prisoner's counsel was cross-examining this witness with
no result, except that he had never seen the prisoner on
any other occasion, when the wigged gentleman who had
all this time been looking at the ceiling of the court,
wrote a word or two on a little piece of paper, screwed
it up, and tossed it to him. Opening this piece of paper
in the next pause, the counsel looked with great atten-
tion and curiosity at the prisoner.
"Ton say again yon are quite sure that it teas the
The witness was quite sure.
" Did you ever see anybody very like the prisoner ? "
Sot so like (the witness said), as that he could be mis-
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 101
" Look well upon that gentleman, my learned friend
there," pointing to him who had tossed the paper over,
" and then look well upon the prisoner. How say yon ?
Are they very like each other ? "
Allowing for my learned friend's appearance being
careless and slovenly, if not debauched, they were suffi-
ciently like each other to surprise, not only the witness,
but everybody present, when they were thus brought
into comparison. My Lord being prayed to bid my
learned friend to lay aside his wig, and giving no very
gracious consent, the likeness became much more re-
markable. My Lord inquired of Mr. Stryver (the pris-
oner's counsel), whether they were next to try Mr. Car-
ton (name of my learned friend) for treason ? But, Mr.
Stryver replied to my Lord, no ; but he would ask the
witness to tell him whether what happened once, might
happen twice ; whether he would have been so confident
if he had seen this illustration of his rashness sooner;
whether he would be so confident, having seen it ; and
more. The upshot of which, was, to smash this witness
like a crockery vessel, and shiver his part of the case to
Mr. Cruncher had by this time taken quite a lunch of
rust off his fingers, in his following of the evidence. He
had now to attend while Mr. Stryver fitted the prisoner's
case on the jury, like a compact suit of clothes ; showing
them how the patriot, Baread, was a hired spy and trai-
tor, an unblushing trafficker in blood, and one of the
greatest scoundrels upon earth since accursed Judas —
which he certainly did look rather like. How the virtu-
ous servant, Cly, was his friend and partner, and was
worthy to be ; how the watchful eyes of those forgers
and false swearers had rested on the prisoner as a vic-
102 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
tim, because some family affairs in France, he being of
French extraction, did require his making those passages
across the Channel — though what those affairs were, a
consideration for others who were near and dear to him,
forbade him, even for his life, to disclose. How the evi-
dence that had been warped and wrested from the young
lady, whose anguish in giving it they had witnessed, came
to nothing, involving the mere little innocent gallantries
and politenesses likely to pass between any young gentle-
man and young lady so thrown together : — with the ex-
ception of that reference to George Washington, which
was altogether too extravagant and impossible, to. be re-
garded in any other light than as a monstrous joke. How
it would be a weakness in the government to break down
in this attempt to practise for popularity on the lowest
national antipathies and fears, and therefore Mr. Attor-
ney-General had made the most of it ; how, nevertheless,
it rested upon nothing, save that vile and infamous char-
acter of evidence too often disfiguring such cases, and of
which the State Trials of this country were full. But,
there My Lord interposed (with as grave a face as if it
had not been true), saying that he could not sit upon that
Bench and suffer those allusions.
Mr. Stryver then called his few witnesses, and Mr.
Cruncher had next to attend while Mr. Attorney- General
turned the whole suit of clothes Mr. Stryver had fitted
on the jury, inside out ; showing how Barsad and Cly
were even a hundred times better than he had thought
them, and the prisoner a hundred times worse. Lastly,
came My Lord himself, turning the suit of clothes, now
inside out, now outside in, but on the whole decidedly
trimming and shaping them into grave-clothes for the
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 103
And now, the jury turned to consider, and the great
flies swarmed again.
Mr. Carton, who had so long sat looking at the ceiling
of the court, changed neither his place nor his attitude,
even in this excitement. While his learned friend, Mr.
Stryver, massing his papers before him, whispered with
those who sat near, and from time to time glanced anx-
iously at the jury ; while all the spectators moved more
or less, and grouped themselves anew; while even My
Lord himself arose from his seat, and slowly paced up
and down his platform, not unattended by a snspicion in
the minds of the audience that his state was feverish ;
this one man sat leaning back, with his torn gown half
off him, his untidy wig pat on just as it had happened
to light on his head after its removal, his hands in his
pockets, and his eyes on the ceiling as they had been all
day. Something especially reckless in his demeanor, not
only gave him a disreputable look, but so diminished the
strong resemblance he undoubtedly bore to the prisoner
(which his momentary earnestness, when they were com-
pared together, had strengthened), that many of the look-
ers-on, taking note of him now, said to one another they
would hardly have thought the two were so alike. Mr.
Cruncher made the observation to his next neighbor, and
added, "I'd bold half a guinea that he don't get no law-
work to do. Don't look like the sort of one to get any,
do he ? "
Yet, this Mr. Carton took in more of the details of
the scene than he appeared to take in ; for now, when
Miss Manette's head dropped upon her father's breast, he
was the first to see it, and to say audibly : " Officer I look
to that young lady. Help the gentleman to take her out.
Don't you see she will fall ! "
104 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
There was much commiseration for her as she was re-
moved, and much sympathy with her cither. It had evi-
dently been a great distress to him, to have the days of
his imprisonment recalled. He had shown strong inter-
nal agitation when he was questioned, and that pondering
or brooding look which made him old, 'had been upon
him, like a heavy cloud, ever since. As he passed out,
the jury, who had turned back and paused a moment,
spoke, through their foreman.
They were not agreed, and wished to retire. My
Lord (perhaps with George Washington on his mind)
showed some surprise that they were not agreed, but sig-
nified his pleasure that they should retire tinder watch
and ward, and retired himself. The trial had lasted all
day, aud the lamps in the court were now being lighted.
It began to be rumored that the jury would be out a
long while. The spectators dropped off to get refresh-
ment, and the prisoner withdrew to the back of the dock,
and sat down.
Mr. Lorry, who had gone out when the young lady
and her father went out, now reappeared, and beckoned
to Jerry ; who, in the slackened interest, could easily get
" Jerry, if you wish to take something to eat, you can.
But, keep in the way. Yon will be sure to bear when
the jury come in. Don't be a moment behind them, for
I want you to take the verdict back to the bank. You
are the quickest messenger I know, and will get to Tem-
ple Bar long before I can,"
Jerry had just enough forehead to knuckle, and he
knuckled it in acknowledgment of this communication
and a shilling. Mr. Carton came up at the moment, and
touched Mr. Lorry on the arm.
A TALE OF TWO CnTE3. 105
* How is the young lady ? "
" She is greatly distressed ; but her father is comforting
her, and she feels the better for being out of court."
" I'll tell the prisoner so. It won't do for a respectable
bank-gentleman like you, to be Been speaking to him pub-
licly, yon know."
Mr. Lorry reddened, as if he were conscious of having
debated the point in his mind, and Mr. Carton made his
way to the outside of the bar. The way out of court
lay in that direction, and Jerry followed him, all eyes,
ears, and spikes.
" Mr. Darnay ! *
The prisoner came forward directly.
" Ton will naturally be anxious to hear of the witness,
Miss Manette. She will do very well. Ton have seen
the worst of her agitation."
"I am deeply sorry to have been the cause of it
Could you tell her so for me, with my fervent acknowl-
edgments ? "
11 Yes, I could. I will, if you ask it."
Mr. Carton's manner was so careless as to be almost
insolent. He stood, half turned from the prisoner, loung-
ing with his elbow against the bar.
" I do ask it. Accept my cordial thanks."
" What," said Carton, still only half turned towards
him, " do you expect, Mr. Darnay ? "
" It's the wisest thing to expect, and the likeliest. But
I think their withdrawing is in your favor."
Loitering on the way out of court not being allowed,
Jerry heard no more ; but left them — so like each other
in feature, so unlike each other in manner — standing
side by side, both reflected in the glass above them.
106 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
Ail hour and a half limped heavily away in the thief-
and-rascaI ; crowded passages below, even though assisted
off with mutton-pies and ale. The hoarse messenger,
uncomfortably seated on a form after taking that refec-
tion, had dropped into a dose, when a load murmur and
a rapid tide of people setting up the stairs that led to (he
court, carried him along with them.
" Jerry ! Jerry ! " Mr. Lorry was already calling at the
door when he got there.
" Here, sir ! It's a fight to get back again. Here I
am, sir I "
Mr. Lorry handed him a paper through the throng.
" Quick ! Have you got it ? "
" Yes, sir."
Hastily written on the paper was the word "Ac-
" If you had sent the message, ' Recalled to Life,'
again," muttered Jerry, as he turned, " I should have
known what you meant, this time."
He had no opportunity of saying, or so much as think-
ing, anything else, until he was clear of the Old Bailey ;
for, the crowd came pouring out with a vehemence that
nearly took him off his legs, and a loud buzz swept into
ithe street as if the baffled blue-flies were dispersing in
search of other carrion.
A TALE OP TWO CITIES.
Fbom the dimly-lighted passages of the court, the
last sediment of the human stew that had been boiling
there all day, was straining off, when Doctor Mane tie,
Lucie Manette his daughter, Mr. Lorry, the solicitor for
the defence, and its counsel, Mr. Stryver, stood gathered
around Mr. Charles Darnay — just released — congratu-
lating him on his escape from death.
It would have been difficult, by a far brighter light, to
recognize in Doctor Manette, intellectual of face and up-
right of bearing, the shoemaker of the garret in Paris.
Yet, no one could have looked at him twice, without look-
ing again: even though the opportunity of observation
had not extended to the mournful cadence of his low,
grave voice, and to the abstraction that overclouded him
fitfully, without any apparent reason. While one exter-
nal cause, and that a reference to his long lingering
agony, would always — as on the trial — evoke this con-
dition from the depths of his soul, it was also in its na-
ture to arise of itself, and to draw a gloom over him, as
incomprehensible to those unacquainted with his story as
if they had seen the shadow of the actual Bastille thrown
upon bim by a summer sun, when the substance was
three hundred miles away.
Only his daughter had the power of charming this
108 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
black brooding from bis mind. She was the golden
thread that united him to a Past beyond his misery, and
to a Present beyond his misery ; and the sound of her
voice, the light of her face, the touch of her hand, had
a strong beneficial influence with him almost always.
Not absolutely always, for she could recall some occa-
sions on which her power had failed; but, they were few
and slight, and she believed them over.
Mr. Darnay had kissed her hand fervently and grate-
fully, and had turned to Mr. Stryver, whom he warmly
thanked. Mr. Stryver, a man of little more than thirty,
but looking twenty years older than he was, stout, loud,
red, bluff, and free from any drawback of delicacy, had
a pushing way of shouldering himself (morally and phy- >
sically) into companies and conversations, that augured
well for his shouldering his way up in life.
He still had his wig and gown on, and he said, squar-
ing himself at his late client to that degree that he
squeezed the innocent Mr. Lorry clean out of the group,
"I am glad to have brought you off with honor, Mr.
Daroay. It was an infamous prosecution, grossly in-
famous; but not the less likely to succeed, on that ac-
" You have laid me under an obligation to you for
life, — in two senses," said his late client, taking his
" I have done my best for yon, Mr. Darnay ; and my
best is as good as another man's, I believe."
It clearly being incumbent on somebody to say, " Much
better," Mr. Lorry said it; perhaps not quite disinter-
estedly, but with the interested object of squeezing him-
self back again.
"Ton think so?" said Mr. Stryver. "Weill you
Mb V GoOQlc
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 109
have been present all day, and you ought to know. You
are a man of business, too."
" And as such," quoth Mr. Lorry, whom the counsel
learned in the law had now shouldered back into the
group, just as he bad previously shouldered him out of
it, — " as such, I will appeal to Dr. Manette, to break up
this conference and order us all to our homes. Miss
Lucie looks ill, Mr. Darnay has had a terrible day, we
are worn out,"
" Speak for yourself, Mr. Lorry," said Stry ver ; " I
have a night's Work to do yet. Speak for yourself."
" I speak for myself," answered Mr. Lorry, " and for
Mr. Darnay, and for Miss Lucie, and Miss Lucie,
do you not think 1 may speak for us all P " He asked
her the question pointedly, and with a glance at her
His face had become frozen, as it were, in a very
curious look at Darnay, — an intent look, deepening into
a frown of dislike and distrust, not even unmixed with
fear. With this strange expression on him, his thoughts
had wandered away.
"My father," said Lucie, softly laying her hand on
He slowly shook the shadow off, and turned to her.
" Shall we go borne, my father ? "
With a long breath, he answered " Yes."
The friends of the acquitted prisoner had dispersed,
under the impression — which he himself had originated
— that he would not be released that night. The lights
were nearly all extinguished in the passages, the iron
gates were being closed with a jar and a rattle, and the
dismal place was deserted until to-morrow morning's in-
terest of gallows, pillory, whipping-post, and branding-
110 a TALE OF TWO CITIES.
iron, should repeople it. Walking between her father
and Mr. Darnay, Lucie Manet te passed into the open
air. A hackney-coach was called, and the father and
daughter departed in it.
Mr. Stryver had left them in the passages, to shoulder
his way back to the robi tig-room. Another person who
had not joined the group, or interchanged a word with
any one of them, but who had been leaning against the
wall where its shadow was darkest, had silently strolled
out after the rest, and had looked on until the coach
drove away. He now stepped up to where Mr.. Lorry
and Mr. Darnay stood upon the pavement.
" So, Mr. Lorry ! Men of business may speak to Mr.
Darnay now ? "
Nobody bad made any acknowledgment of Mr. Car-
ton's part in the day's proceedings; nobody had known
of it He was unrobed, and was none the better for it
" If yon knew what a conflict goes on in the business
mind, when the business mind is divided between good-
natured impulse and business appearances, you would be
amused, Mr. Darnay."
Mr. Lorry reddened, and said, warmly, " You have
mentioned that before, sir. We men of business who
serve a House, are not our own masters. We have to
think of the House, more than of ourselves."
"7 know, J know," rejoined Mr. Carton, carelessly.
" Don't be nettled, Mr. Lorry. You are as good as an-
other, I have no doubt ; better, I dare say."
" And indeed, sir," pursued Mr. Lorry, not minding
him, "I really don't know what you have to do with the
matter. If you'll excuse me, as very much your elder,
for saying so, I really don't know that it is your business.'*
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. Ill
" Business I Bless 700, / have ao business," said Mr.
" It is a pity you have not, sir."
" I think so too."
"If you had," pursued Mr. Lorry, "perhaps you
would attend to it."
" Lord love you, no ! — I shouldn't," said Mi 1 . Car-
" Well, sir," cried Mr. Lorry, thoroughly healed by
his indifference, "business is a very good thing, and a
very respectable thing. And, sir, if business imposes
its restraints and its silences and impediments, Mr. Dar-
nay, as a young gentleman of generosity, knows how to
make allowance for that circumstance. Mr. Darnay,
good-night; God bless you, sirl I hope you have been
this day preserved tor a prosperous and happy life. — ■
Chair there ! "
Perhaps a little angry with himself, as well as with
the barrister, Mr. Lorry bustled into the chair, and was
carried off to Tellson's. Carton, who smelt of port
wine, and did not appear to be quite sober, laughed then,
and turned to Darnay, —
" This is a strange chance that throws you and me
together. This must be a strange night to you, standing
alone here with your counterpart on these street-stones ?"
" I hardly seem yet," returned Charles Darnay, " to
belong to this world again."
" I don't wonder at it; it's not so long since yon were
pretty far advanced on your way to another. You speak
" I begin to think I am faint."
"Then why the devil don't you dine? I dined my-
self, while those numskulls were deliberating which world
112 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
you should belong to, — this, or some other. Let me
show 70a the nearest tavern to dine well at."
Drawing his arm through bis own, he took him down
Ludgate-hill to Fleet-street, and so, up a covered way,
into a tavern. Here, they were shown into a little room,
where Charles Darnay was soon recruiting his strength
with a good plain dinner and good wine ; while Carton
sat opposite to him at the same table, with his separate
bottle of port before him, and his fully half-insolent man-
ner upon him.
" Do you feel, yet, that you belong to this terrestrial
scheme again, Mr. Darnay ? "
" I am frightfully confused regarding time and place ;
but I am so far mended as to feel that."
" It must be an immense satisfaction ! "
He said it bitterly, and filled up his glass again : which
was a large one.
" As to me, the greatest desire I have, is to forget that
I belong to it. It has no good in it for me, — except
wine like this, — nor I for it. So we are not much
alike in that particular. Indeed, I begin to think we
are not much alike in any particular, you and I."
Confused by the emotion of the day, and feeling his
being there with this Double of coarse deportment, to be
like a dream, Charles Darnay was at a loss how to an-
swer ; finally, answered not at all.
" Now your dinner is done," Carton presently said,
" why don't you call a health, Mr. Darnay ? why don't
you give your toast?"
" What health? What toast?"
" Why, it's on the tip of your tongue. It ought to be,
it must be, I'll swear it's there."
" Miss Manette, then I "
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 118
" Miss Manette, then ! "
Looking his companion full in the face while he drank
the toast, Carton flung bis glass over his shoulder against
the wall, where it shivered to pieces ; then rang the bell,
and ordered in another.
" That's a fair young lady to hand to a coach in the
dark, Mr. Darnay I" he said, filling his new goblet
A slight frown and a laconic " Yes," were the answer,
" That's a fur young lady to be pitied by and wept
for by 1 How does it feel ? 'Is it worth being tried for
one's life, to be the object of such sympathy and com-
passion, Mr. Darnay?**
Again Darnay answered not a word.
" She was mightily pleased to have your message,
when I gave it her. Not that she showed she was
pleased, but I suppose she was."
The allusion served as a timely reminder to Darnay
that this disagreeable companion had, of his own free
will, assisted him in the strait of the day. He turned
the dialogue to that point, and thanked him for it.
"I neither want any thanks, nor merit any," was the
careless rejoinder. " It was nothing to do, in the first
place ; and I don't know why I did it, in the second.
Mr. Darney, let me ask you a question.''
" Willingly, and a small return for your good offices."
" Do you think I particularly like you ? "
" Really, Mr. Carton,'' returned the other, oddly dis-
concerted, " I have not asked myself the question."
" But ask yourself tbe question now."
" You have acted as if you do ; but I don't think yon
" 1 don't think I do," said Carton. " I begin to have
a very good opinion of yonr understanding."
114 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
" Nevertheless," pursued Damay, rising to ring the
bell) "there is nothing in that, I hope, to prevent my
calling the reckoning, and our parting without ill-blood
on either side.''
Carton rejoining, " Nothing in life ! " Darnay rang.
"Do yon call the whole reckoning?" said Carton. On
his answering in the affirmative, " Then bring me sm-
other pint of this same wine, drawer, and come and
wake me at ten."
The bill being paid, Charles Darnay rose and wished
him good-night Without returning the wish, Carton
rose too, with something of a threat or defiance in his
manner, and said, " A last word, Mr. Damay} yon think
" I think you have been drinking, Mr. Carton.''
" Think ? You know I have been drinking."
" Since I must say bo, I know it"
" Then you shall likewise know why. I am a disap-
pointed drudge, sir. I care for no man on earth, and
no man on earth cares for me."
" Much to be regretted. You might have used your
"Maybe so, Mr. Darnay; maybe not Don't let
your sober face elate you, however; yon don't know
what it may come to. Good-night ! "
When he was left alone, this strange being took up a
candle, went to a glass that hung against the wall, and
surveyed himself minutely in it
" Do you particularly like the man ? " he mattered, at
his own image : " why should you particularly like a
man who resembles you? There is nothing in yon to
like; you know that Ah, confound you! What a
change you have made in yourself! A good reason for
A TALE Of TWO dTDM. 116
taking to a man, that he shows you what you have fallen
away from, and what you might have been! Change
places with him, and would you have been looked at by
those blue eyes as he was, and commiserated by that
agitated face as he was ? Come on, and have it out in
plain words I Ton hate the fellow."
He resorted to his pint of wine for consolation, drank
it all in a few minutes, and fell asleep on his arms, with
his hair straggling over the table, and a long wiuding-
. shoe t in the candle dripping down upon him.
A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
Those were drinking days, and most men drank hard.
So very great is the improvement Time has brought
about in such habits, that a moderate statement of the
quantity of wine and punch which one man would swal-
low in the course of a night, without any detriment to
his reputation as a perfect gentleman, would seem, in
these days, a ridiculous exaggeration. The learned pro-
fession of the Law was certainly not behind any other
learned profession in its Bacchanalian propensities ; nei-
ther was Mr. Stryver, already fast shouldering his way
to a large and lucrative practice, behind his compeers in
this particular, any more than in the drier parts of the
A favorite at the Old Bailey, and eke at the Sessions,
Mr. Stryver had begun cautiously to hew away the
lower staves of the ladder on which he mounted. Ses-
sions and Old Bailey had now to summon their favorite,
specially, to their longing arms ; and shouldering itself
towards the visage of the Lord Chief Justice in the
Court of King's Bench, the florid countenance of Mr.
Stryver might be daily seen, bursting out of the bed of
wigs, like a great sunflower pushing its way at the sun
from among a rank garden-full of flaring companions.
It had once been noted at the Bar that, while Mr.
A- TALE OF TWO CITIES. 117
Stryver was a glib man, and an unscrupulous, and a
ready, and a bold, he bad not that faculty of extracting
the essence from a heap of statements, which is among
the most striking and necessary of the advocate's accom-
plishments. But a remarkable improvement came upon
him as to this. The more business he got, the greater
bis power seemed to grow of getting at its pith and mar-
row; and however late at night he sat carousing with
Sydney Carton, be always had his points at his fingers'
ends in the morning.
Sydney Carton, idlest and most unpromising of men,
was Stryver's great ally. What the two drank together,
between Hilary Term and Michaelmas, might have float-
ed a king's ship. Stryver never had a case in hand,
anywhere, but Carton was there, with his hands in his
pockets, staring at the ceiling of the court ; they went
the same Circuit, and even there they prolonged their
nsnal orgies late into the night, and Carton was rumored
to be seen at broad day, going home stealthily and un-
steadily to his lodgings, like a dissipated cat At last, it
began to get about, among such as were interested in the
matter, that although Sydney Carton would never be a
lion, he was an amazingly good jackal, and that be ren-
dered suit and service to Stryver in that humble capa-
" Ten o'clock, sir," said the man at the tavern, whom
he had charged to wake him, — " ten o'clock, sir."
.« Whatt the matter?"
" Ten o'clock, sir."
" What do you mean ? Ten o'clock at night ? "
" Yes, sir. Tour honor told me to call you."
" Oh 1 I remember. Very well, very well."
After a few dull efforts to get to sleep again, which
US A. TALB OF' TWO CITIES^
the man dexterously combated by stirring the fire
continuously for five, minutes, be got up, tossed his hat
on, and walked oat He turned into the Temple, and,
hiring revived himself by twice pacing-, the pavements 1
of King's Bench-walk and Paper-buildings, turned into-
the Stiyvor chambers.
The Stryver clerk,. who never assisted at these con-
ferences, had gone home, and; the Stryver principal
opened the door. He had. bis slippers on, and- a loose
bed-gown, and bis throat was bare for his greater ease;
He bad that rather wild, strained, seared marking about
the eyes, which may be observed in all free livers of bis"
class, from the portrait of Jeffries downward, and which'
can be traced, under various disguises of Art, through'
the. portraits of every Drinking Age.
" Ton are a little late, Memory," said Stryver.
" About the usual time ; it may be a quarter of an
They went into a dingy room lined with books and
littered with papers, where there was a blazing fire. A
kettle steamed upon the bob, and in the midst of the
wreck of papers a table shone, with plenty of wine upon'
it, and brandy, and rum, and sugar, and lemons.
" Tou have had your bottle, I perceive, Sydney:"
" Two to-night, I think. I have been dining with the~-
day's client; or seeing ban dine, — it's all one!"
" That was a rare point, Sydney, that you brought to-
bear upon the identification. How did you come: by it ?
When did it strike you ? "
"I thought be was rather a handsome fellow, and' I
thought I should have been much the same sort of fellow,
if I had had any luck."
Mr* Stryver laughed, till he shook bit precocious
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 119
paunch. " You and your luck, Sydney ! Get to work,
get to work."
Sullenly enough, the jackal loosened hia dress, went
into an adjoining room, and came back with a large jug
of cold water, a bairin, and s towel or two. ' Steeping
the towel* in the water, and partially wringing them out,
he folded them on his head in a manner hideous to be-
hold, sat down at the table, and said, "Now I am ready!"
" Not much boiling down to be done to-night, Mem-
ory," said Mr. Stryver, gayly, as he looked among his
" How much ? "
" Only two sets of them."
" Give me the worst first"
" There they are, Sydney. Fire away ! "
The Uon then composed himself on his back on a
sofa on one side of the drinking-table, while the jackal
sat at his own paper-bestrewn table proper, on the other
side of it, with the bottles and glasses ready to his hand.
Both resorted to the drinking- table without stint, but
each in a different way ; the lion, for the most part, re-
clining with his hands in his waistband, looking at the
fire, or occasionally flirting with some lighter document ;
the jackal, with knitted brows and intent face, so deep in
his task, that his eyes did not even follow the hand he
stretched out for his glass, — which often groped about,
for a minute or more, before it found the glass for his
lips. Two or three times, the matter in hand became so
knotty, that the jackal round it imperative on him to get
up, and steep his towels anew. From these pilgrimages
to the jug and basin, he returned with snch eccentricities
of damp head-gear as no words can describe; which
were made the more ludicrous by his anxious gravity.
120 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
At length the jackal had got together a compact re-
past for the lion, and proceeded to offer it to him. The
lion took it with care and caution, made his selections
from it, and his remarks upon it, and the jackal assisted
both. When the repast was fully discussed, the lion pot
his hands in his waistband again, and lay down to medi-
tate. The jackal then invigorated himself with a bum-
per for his throttle, and a fresh application to his head,
and applied himself to the collection of a second meal ;
this was administered to the lion in the same manner,
and was not disposed of until the clocks struck three in
"And now we have done, Sydney, fill a bumper of
punch," said Mr. Stryver.
The jackal removed the towels from his head, which
had been steaming again, shook himself, yawned, shiv-
ered, and complied.
"You were very sound, Sydney, in the matter of
those crown witnesses to-day. Every question told."
" I always am sound ; am I not ? "
" I don't gainsay it. What has roughened your tem-
per? Put some punch to St and smooth it again."
With a deprecatory grunt, the jackal again complied.
" The old Sydney Carton of old Shrewsbury School,"
said Stryver, nodding his head over him as he reviewed
him in the present and the past ; " the old see-saw Syd-
ney. Up one minute and down the next ; now in spirits,
and now in despondency 1 "
" Ah I " returned the other, sighing ; " yes. The same
Sydney, with the same luck. Even then, I did exer-
cises for other boys, and seldom did my own."
" And why not ? "
" God knows. It was my way, I suppose."
A TALK OF TWO CITIES. 121
He sat, with his hands in his pockets and his legs
stretched oat before him, looking at the fire.
" Carton," said his friend, squaring himself at him
with a bullying air, as if the fire-grate had been the fur-
nace in which sustained endeavor was forged, and the
one delicate thing to be done for the old Sydney Carton
of old Shrewsbury School was to shoulder him into it,
" your way is, and always was, a lame way. You sum-
mon no energy and purpose. Look at me."
" Oh, botheration 1 " returned Sydney, with a lighter
and more good-humored laugh, " don't you be moral 1 "
w How have I done what I hava done ? " said Stryver ;
" how do I do what I do '/"
" Partly through paying me to help you, I suppose.
But it's not worth yoor while to apostrophize me, or the
air, about it ; what you want to do, you do. Ton were
always in the front rank, and I was always behind."
"I had to get. into the front. rank; I was not bora
there, was I ? "
" I was not present at the ceremony ; but my opinion
is you were," said Carton. At this, he laughed again,
and they both laughed.
" Before Shrewsbury, and at Shrewsbury, and ever
since Shrewsbury," pursued Carton, " you have fallen
into your rank, and I have fallen into mine. Even
when we were fellow-students in the Quartier Latin,
picking up French, and French law, and other French
crumbs that we didn't get much good of, you were
always somewhere, and I was always — nowhere."
"And whose fault was that?"
" Upon my soul, I am not sure that it was not
yours. Yon were always driving and riving and
shouldering and pressing, to that restless degree that
122 A TALE OP TWO GITTE3.
I had no chance for my life but in rust and repose.
It's a gloomy thing, however, to talk about- one's* own
past, with the day breaking. Turn me in some other
direction before I go."
" Well then ! Pledge me to the pretty witness," said
Stryver, holding lip Us glass.- "Are yon turned in' a
pleasant direction ?"
Apparently not, for he- became gloomy again.
" Pretty witness," be muttered, looking down into;
his glass. "I have had enough of witnesses to-day
and to-nigfat; who's your pretty witness?"
" The picturesque doctor's daughter, Miss ManelteL"
" She pretty I "
"Is she not?"
"Why, man alive, she was the admiration of the
whole Court ! "
"Rot the admiration of the whole Court! Who
made the Old Bailey a judge of beauty ? She was a :
" Do you know, Sydney," said Mr. Stryver, looking
at him with sharp eyes, and slowly drawing a hand-
across his florid face : " do you know, I rather thought,
at the time, that you sympathized with the golden--
haired doll, and were quick to see what happened to-
the golden-haired doll?"
"Quick to see what happened 1 If a girl, doll or
no doll, swoons within a yard or two of a man's nose,
he can see it without a perspective-glass. I pledge-
yon, but I deny the beauty. And now FA have no
more drink; 111 get to bed."
When his host followed him out ori the staircase-'
with a candle, to light him down the stairs, the day
Mb v GoOQlc
A TALK OP TWO CITIES* 123
was coldly looking in through its grimy windows.
When he got out of the house, the air was cold and
sad, the dull sky overcast, the river dark and dim,
the whole scene like a lifeless desert. And wreaths
of dust were spinning round and round before the
morning blast, as if the desert-sand bad risen far
away, and the first spray of it in its advance had be-
gun the overwhelming of the city.
Waste forces within him, and a desert all around,
this man stood still on his way across a silent terrace,
and saw for a moment, lying in the wilderness before'
him, a mirage of honorable ambition, self-denial, and
perseverance- In the fair city of this vision, there*
were airy galleries from which the laves aud graces'
looked upon him, gardens in which the fruits of life-
hung ripening, waters of Hope that sparkled in his'
sight A moment, and it was gone. Climbing to a-
high chamber in s well of bouses, he threw himself
down in his clothes on a neglected bed, and its pillow
was wet with wasted tears.
Sadly, sadly, the sun rose ; and it rose upon no
sadder sight than the man of good abilities and good
emotions, incapable of their directed exercise, incapa-
ble of his own help and. his own- happiness, sensible
of the blight on him, and- resigning himself to let it
eat him away.
A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
HUNDKKDB OF PEOPLE.
The quiet lodgings of Doctor Manette were in a qtriet
street-comer not far from Soho-square. On the after-
noon 'of a certain fine Sunday when the waves of four
months had rolled over the trial for treason, and carried
it, as to the public interest and memory, far out to sea,
Mr. Jarvis Lorry walked along the sunny streets from
Clerkenwell where he lived, on his way to dine with the
Doctor. After several relapses into business-absorption,
Mr. Lorry had become the Doctor's friend, and the quiet
street-corner was the sunny part of his life.
On this certain fine Sunday, Mr. Lorry walked towards
Soho, early in the afternoon, for three reasons of habit
First, because on fine Sundays, he often walked out,
before dinner, with the Doctor and Lucie ; secondly, be-
cause, on unfavorable Sundays, he was accustomed to be
with them as the family friend, talking, reading, looking
out of window, and generally getting through the day ;
thirdly, because he happened to have bis own little
shrewd doubts to solve, and knew how the ways of the
Doctor's household pointed to that time as a likely time
for solving them.
A quainter corner than the corner where the Doctor
lived, was not to be found in London. There was no
way through it, and the front windows of the Doctor's
A TALE OP TWO CITIES. 125
lodgings commanded a pleasant little viata of street that
had a congenial air of retirement on it. There were few
buildings then, north of the Oxford-road, and forest-trees
flourished, and wild-flowers grew, and the hawthorn blos-
somed, in the now vanished fields. As a consequence,
country airs circulated in Soho with vigorous freedom,
instead of languishing into the parish like stray paupers
without a settlement ; and there was many a good south
wall, not far off, on which the peaches ripened in' their
The summer light struck into the corner brilliantly in
the earlier part of the day ; but, when the streets grew
hot, the corner was in shadow, though not in shadow so
remote but that you could see beyond it into a glare of
brightness. It was a cool spot, staid but cheerful, a won-
derful place for echoes, and a very harbor from the raging
There ought to have been a tranquil bark in such an
anchorage, and there was. The Doctor occupied two
floors of a large still house, where several callings pur-
ported to be pursued by day, but whereof little was audi-
ble any day, and which was shunned by all of them at
night. In a building at the back, attainable by a court*
yard where a plane-tree rustled its green leaves, church-
organs claimed to be made, and silver to be chased, and
likewise gold to be beaten by some mysterious giant who
had a golden arm starting out of the wall of the front
ball — as if he had beaten himself precious, and menaced
a similar conversion of all visitors. Very little of these
trades, or of a lonely lodger rumored to live up-stairs, or
of a dim coach-trimming maker asserted to have a count-
ing-house below, was ever heard or seen. Occasionally,
a stray workman putting his coat on, traversed the hall,
.126 A TM.E OF TWO CITIES.
or a stranger peered about there, or a distant clink was
heard across the court-yard, or a thump from the golden
giant. These, however, were only the exceptions re-
quired to prove the rule that the sparrows in the plane-
tree behind the house, and die echoes in the corner
before it, had their own way from Sunday morning unto
Doctor Manette received sneh patients here as his old
reputation, and its revival in the floating whispers of his
story, brought him. His scientific knowledge, and his
vigilance and skUI in conducting ingenious experiments,
brought him otherwise into moderate request, and he
canned as much as he wanted.
These things were within Mr. JarviB Lorry's knowl-
edge, thoughts, and notice, when he rang the door-bell
of the tranquil-house in the corner, on the fine Sunday
" Doctor Manette at home ? "
" Miss Lucie at home ? "
" Miss Proas at home F "
Possibly at home, but of a certainty impossible for
handmaid to anticipate intentions of Miss Proas, as to
admission or denial of the fact.
" As I am at home myself," said Mr. Lorry, * I'll go
Although the Doctor's daughter had known nothing
of the country of her birth, she appeared to have innately
derived from it that ability to make much of little means,
which is one of its most useful and most agreeable char-
acteristics. Simple as the furniture was, it was set off
by so many little adornments, of no value but for their
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 187
taste and fancy, that its effect was delightful. The dis-
position of everything in the looms, from the largest
object to the least ; the arrangement of colors, the ele-
gant variety and contrast obtained by thrift in trifles, by
delicate hands, clear eyes, and good sense ; were at onoe
so pleasant in themselves, and so expressive of their
originator, that, as Mr. Lorry stood looking about him,
the very chairs and tables seemed to ask him, with some-
thing of that peculiar expression which he knew .so well
by this lime, whether he approved ?
There were three rooms on a floor, and, the doors by
which they communicated being put open that the air
might pass freely through them all, Mr. Lorry, smilingly
Observant of that fanciful resemblance which he detected
.all around him, walked from one to another. The first
was the best room, and in it were Lucie's birds, and dow-
ers, and books, and desk, and work-table, and box of
water-colors; the second was the Doctor's consulting-
room, used also as the dining-room ; the third, changingly
speckled by the rustle of the plane-tree in the yard, was
the Doctor's bedroom — and there, in a corner, stood the
disused shoemaker's bench and tray of tools, much as it
had stood on the fifth floor of the dismal house by the
wine-shop, in the suburb of Saint Antoine in Paris.
" I wonder," said Mr. Lorry, pausing in his looking
about, "that he keeps that reminder of his sufferings by
"And why wonder at that?" was the abrupt inquiry
that made him start.
It proceeded from Miss Prose, the wild red woman,
strong of hand, whose acquaintance he had first made at
the Royal George Hotel at Dover, and had since im-
128 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
" I should have thought " ■ Mr. Lorry began.
" Pooh 1 You'd have thought I " said Miss Pross ; and
Mr. Lorry left off.
" How do yon do ? " inquired that lady then — sharply,
and yet aa if to express that she bore him no malice.
"lam pretty well, I thank you," answered Mr. Lorry,
with meekness, " how are you ? "
" Nothing to boast of," said Miss Prose,
" Indeed ? "
" Ah 1 indeed I " said Miss Pross. " I am very much
put out about my Ladybird:"
* Indeed ? "
" For gracious sake say something else besides ' in-
deed,' or you'll fidget me to death," said Miss P^oss:
whose character (dissociated from stature) was short*
" Beally, then ? " said Mr. Lorry as an amendment.
" Beally, is bad enough," returned Miss Pross, " bnt
better. Yes, I am very much pnt out."
" May I ask the cause ? "
"I don't want dozens of people who are not at all
worthy of Ladybird, to come here looking after her,"
said Miss Proas.
" Do dozens come for that purpose ? "
" Hundreds," said Miss Pross.
It was characteristic of this lady (as of some other
people before her time and since) that whenever her
original proposition was questioned, she exaggerated it.
" Dear me 1 " said Mr. Lorry, as the safest remark he
could think of.
" I have lived with the darling — or the darling has
lived with me, and paid me for it ; which she certainly
should never have done, you may take your affidavit, if
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 129
I could have afforded to keep either myself or her for
nothing — since she was ten years old. And it's really
very bard," said Miss Pross.
Not seeing with precision what was very hard, Mr,
Lorry shook his head ; using that important part of him-
self as a sort of fairy cloak that would fit anything.
" All sorts of people who are not in the least degree
worthy of the pet, are always turning up," said Miss
Pross. " When you began it "
u I began it, Miss Pross ? "
" Didn't you ? Who brought her father to life ? "
"Oh! If that was beginning it" said Mr.
" It wasn't ending it, I suppose ? I say, when you
began it, it was hard enough ; not that I hare any fault to
find with Doctor Manette, except that he is not worthy
oF such a daughter, which is no imputation on him, for
it was not to be expected that anybody should be, under
any circumstances. But it really is doubly and trebly
hard to have crowds and multitudes of people turning up
after him (I could have forgiven him), to take Ladybird's
affections away from me."
Mr. Lorry knew Miss Pross to be very jealous, but he
also knew her by this time to he, beneath the sorface of
her eccentricity, one of those unselfish creatures — found
only among women — who will, for pure love and admira-
tion, bind themselves willing slaves, to youth when they
have lost it, to beauty that they never had, to accomplish-
ments that they were never fortunate enough to gain, to
bright hopes that never shone upon their own sombre
lives. He knew enough of the world to know that there
is nothing in it better than the faithful service of the
heart ; so rendered and so free from any mercenary taint,
130 A TALE OF TWO CITIES. /
he had such an exalted respect for it, that in the retribu-
tive arrangements made by his own mind — we all make
such arrangements, more or less — he stationed Miss
Pross much nearer to the lower Angels than many ladies
immeasurably better got up both by Nature and Art, who
had balances at Tellson's.
" There never was, nor will be, but one man worthy
of Ladybird," said Miss Proas ; " and that was my brother
Solomon, if he hadn't made a mistake in life."
Here again : Mr. Lorry's inquiries into Miss Press's
personal history had established the fact that her brother
Solomon was a heartless scoundrel who had stripped her
of everything she possessed, as a stake to speculate with,
and had abandoned her in her poverty for evermore, with
no touch of compunction. Miss Press's fidelity of belief
in Solomon (deducting a mere trifle for this slight mis-
take) was quite a serious matter with Mr. Lorry, and
had its weight in his good opinion of her.
" As we happen to be alone for the moment, and are
both people of business," he said, when they had got
back to the drawing-room, and had sat down there in
friendly relations, " let me ask yon — does the Doctor, in
talking with Lucie, never refer to the shoemaking time,
"And yet keeps that bench and those tools beside
" Ah ! " returned Miss Pross, shaking her head. " But
I don't say he don't refer to it within himself."
" Do you behove that he thinks of it much ? "
" I do," said Miss Pross.
" Do you imagine " Mr. Lorry had begun, when
Miss Pross took him up short with :
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 131
" Never imagine anything. Have no imagination at
" I stand corrected; do you suppose — you go so far
as to suppose, sometimes ? "
" Nov and then," said Miss Pross.
" Do you suppose," Mr. Lorry went on, with a laugh-
ing twinkle in his bright eye, as it looked kindly at her,
" that Doctor Manette has any theory of his own, pre-
served through all those years, relative to the cause of
bis being so oppressed ; perhaps, even to the name of
bis oppressor ? "
" I don't suppose anything about it but what Ladybird
" And that is ?"
" That she thinks he has."
" Now don't be angry at my asking all these questions ;
because I am a mere dull man of business, and you are
a woman of business."
" Dull ? " Miss Pross inquired, with placidity.
Bather wishing his modest adjective away, Mr. Lorry
replied, " No, no, no. Surely not. To return to busi-
ness : — Is it not remarkable that Doctor Manette, un-
questionably innocent of any crime as we are well assured
he is, should never touch upon that question ? I will not
say with me, though he had business relations with me
many years ago, and we are now intimate ; I will say
with the fair daughter to whom he is so devotedly at-
tached, and who is so devotedly attached to him ? Believe
me, Miss Pross, I don't approach the topic with you, out
of curiosity, but out of zealous interest."
" Well 1 To the best of my understanding, and bad's
the best you'll tell me," said Miss Pross, softened by the
tone of the apology, " he is afraid of the whole subject"
122 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
" Afraid ? "
"It's plain .enough, I should think, why he maybe.
It's a dreadful remembrance. Besides that, his loss of
himself grew out of it. Not knowing how he lost himself,
or how he recovered himself, he may never feel certain
of not losing himself again. That alone wouldn't make
the subject pleasant, I should think."
It was a profounder remark than Mr. Lorry had
looked for. u True," said he, " and fearful to reflect
upon. Yet, a doubt lurks in my mind, Miss Prose,
whether it is good for Doctor Manette to have that
suppression always shut up within him. Indeed, it is
this doubt and the uneasiness which it sometimes causes
me that has led me to our present confidence."
" Can't be helped," said Miss Proas, shaking her head.
" Touch that string, and he instantly changes for the
worse. Better leave it alone. In short, must leave it
alone, like or no like. Sometimes, he gets up in the
dead of the night, and will be heard, by us overhead
there, walking up and down, walking up and down, in
his room. Ladybird has learut to know then, that his
mind is walking up and down, walking up and down, in
his old prison. She hurries to him, and they go on
together, walking up and down, walking up and down,
until he is composed. But he never says a word of the
true reason of his restlessness to her, and she finds it
best not to hint at it to him, la silence they go walking
up and down together, walking up and down together,
till her love and company have brought him to him-
Notwithstanding Miss Pross's denial of her own im-
agination, there was a perception of the pain of being
monotonously haunted by one sad idea, in her repetition
A TALE OF TWO CTTIES. 188
of the phrase, walking up and down, which testified to
her possessing such a thing.
The corner has been mentioned as a wonderful comer
for echoes ; it had begun to echo so resoundingly to the
tread of coming feet, that it seemed as though the very
mention of that Weary pacing to and fro had set it
" Here they are I " said MisS Pross, rising to break up
the conference ; " and now we shall have hundreds of
people pretty soon ! "
It was soch a curious corner in its acoustical proper-
ties, such a peculiar Ear of a place, that as Mr. Lorry
stood at the open window, looking for the father and
daughter whose steps he heard, he fancied they would
never approach. Not only would the echoes die away,
as though the steps had gone ; but, echoes of other steps
that never came, would be heard in their stead, and
would die away for good when they seemed close at
hand. However, father and daughter did at last appear,
and Miss Prose was ready at the street-door to receive
Miss Press was a pleasant sight, albeit wild, and red,
and grim, taking off her darling's bonnet when she came
up-stairs, and touching it up with the ends of her hand-
kerchief, and blowing the dost off it, and folding her
mantle ready for laying by, and smoothing her rich hair
with as much pride as she could possibly have taken in
her own hair if she had been the vainest and handsomest
of women. Her darling was a pleasant sight too, em-
bracing her and thanking her, and protesting against her
taking so much trouble for ber— which last she only
dared to do playfully, or Miss Pross, sorely hurt, would
have retired to her own chamber and cried. The Doc-
184 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
tor was a pleasant eight too, looking on at them, and
telling Miss Fross how she spoilt Lucie, in accents and
with eyes that had as much spoiling in them as Miss
Fross had, and would have had more if it were possible.
Mr. Lurry was a pleasant sight too, beaming at all this
in his little wig, and thanking his bachelor stars for
having lighted him in his declining years to a Home.
But, no Hundreds of people came to see the sights, and
Mr. Lorry looked in vain for the fulfilment of Miss
Dinner time, and still no Hundreds of people. In
the arrangements of the little household, Miss Fross took
charge of the lower regions, and always acquitted herself
marvellously. Her dinners, of a very modest quality,
were so well cooked and so well served, and so neat in
their contrivances, half English and half French, that
nothing could be better. Miss Press's friendship being
of the thoroughly practical kind, she had ravaged Soho
and the adjacent provinces, in search of impoverished
French, who, tempted by shillings and half-crowns, would
impart culinary mysteries to her. From these decayed
sons and daughters of Gaul, she had acquired such won-
derful arts, that the woman and girl who formed the
staff of domestics regarded her as quite a Sorceress, or
Cinderella's Godmother : who would send out for a fowl,
a rabbit, a vegetable or two from the garden, and change
them into anything she pleased.
On Sundays, Miss Fross dined at the Doctor's table,
but on other days persisted in taking her meals, at un-
known periods, either in the lower regions, or in her own
room on the second door — a blue chamber, to which no
one but her Ladybird ever gained admittance. On this
occasion Miss Fross, responding to Ladybird's pleasant
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 135
face and pleasant efforts to please her, unbent exceed-
ingly ; so the dinner was very pleasant, too.
It was an oppressive day, and, after dinner, Lucie
proposed that the wine should be carried out under the
plane-tree, and they should sit there in the air. Aa
everything turned upon her and revolved about her,
they went out under the plane-tree, and she carried the
wine down for the special benefit of Mr. Lorry. She
had installed herself, some time before, as Mr. Lorry's
cnp-bearer; and while they sat under the plane-tree,
talking, she kept his glass replenished. Mysterious backs
and ends of houses peeped at them as they talked, and
the plane-tree whispered to them in its own way above
Still the Hundreds of people did not present them-
selves. Mr. Damay presented himself while they were
sitting under the plane-tree, but he was only One.
Doctor Manette received him kindly, and so did Lucie.
But Miss Prosa suddenly became afflicted with a twitch-
ing in the head and body, and retired into the house.
She was not unfrequently the victim of this disorder,
and she called it, in familiar conversation, " a fit of the
The Doctor was in his best condition, and looked spe-
cially young. The resemblance between him and Lucie
was very strong at such times, and, as they sat side by
side, she leaning on his shoulder, and he resting his arm
on the back of her chair, it was very agreeable to trace
He bad been talking, all day, on many subjects, and
with unusual vivacity.
" Pray, Doctor Manette," said Mr. Damay, as they
sat under the plane-tree, — and he said it in the natural
136 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
pursuit of the topic in hand, which happened to be the
old buildings of London, — " have you seen much of the
" Lucie and I have been there ; bat only casually.
We have seen enough of it, to know that it teems with
interest ; little more."
* / have been there, as you remember," said Darnay,
with a smile, though reddening a little angrily, " in an-
other character, and not in a character that gives facili-
ties for seeing much of it- They told me a curious thing
when I was there."
" What was that," Lucie asked.
" In making some alterations, the workmen came upon
an old dungeon, which had been, for many years, built
up and forgotten. Every stone of its inner wall was
covered with inscriptions, which had been carved by
prisoners, — dates, stories, complaints, and prayers. Up-
on a corner stone, in an angle of the wall, one prisoner,
who seemed to have gone to execution, bad cut, as his
last work, three letters. They were done with some
very poor instrument, and hurriedly, with an unsteady
hand. At first they were read as D. I. C. ; but, on
being more carefully examined, the last letter was found
to be G. There was no record or legend of any pris-
oner with those initials, and many fruitless guesses were
made what the name could have been. At length it
was suggested that the letters were not initials, but the
complete word, Dia. The floor was examined very
carefully under the inscription, and, in the earth beneath
a stone, or tile, or some fragment of paving, were found
the ashes of a paper, mingled with the ashes of a
small leathern case or bag. What the unknown pris-
oner had written will never be read, but he had written
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 137
something, and hidden it away to keep it from the
" My father 1 " exclaimed Lucie, " you are ill ! "
He had suddenly started up, with his hand to his
head. His manner and bis look quite terrified them all.
" No, my dear, not ill. There are large drops of rain
falling, and they made me start- We had better go io."
He recovered himself almost instantly. Bain was
really falling in large drops, and he showed the back of
his hand with rain-drops on it Bnt he said not a single
word in reference to the discovery that bad been told of;
and, as they went into the house, the business eye of Mr.
Lorry either detected, or fancied it detected, on his face,
as it turned towards Charles Darnay, toe same singular
look that had been upon it when it turned towards him
in the passages of the Court House.
He recovered himself so quickly, however, that Mr.
Lorry had doubts of his business eye. The arm of
the golden giant in the hall was not more steady than
he was, when he slopped under it to remark to them
that he was not yet proof against slight surprises (if
he ever would be), and that the rain bad startled
Tea-time, and Miss Proas making tea, with another
fit of the jerks upon her, and yet no Hundreds of
people. Mr. Carton had lounged in, but he made
The night was so very sultry, that although they sat
with doors and windows open, they were overpowered
by heat. When the tea-table was done with, they all
moved to one of the windows, and looked out into
the heavy twilight. Lucie sat by her father; Darnay
sat beside her ; Carton leaned against a window.
188 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
The curtains were long and white, and some of the
thunder-gusts that whirled into the corner, caught
them up to the ceiling, and waved them like spectral
"The rain-drops are still railing, large, heavy, and
few," said Doctor Manette. "It comes slowly."
"It comes surely," said Carton.
They spoke low, as people watching and waiting
mostly do; as people in a dark room, watching 1 and
waiting for Lightning, always do.
There was a great hurry in the streets, of people
speeding away to get shelter before the storm broke ;
the wonderful corner for echoes resounded with the
echoes of footsteps coming and going, yet not a foot-
step was there.
"A multitude of people, and yet a solitude I" said
Damay, when they had listened for a while.
" Is it not impressive, Mr. Damay ? " asked Lucie.
" Sometimes, I have sat here of an evening, until I
have fancied — but even the shade of a foolish fancy
makes me shudder to-uighl, when all is so black and
<* Let us shudder too. "We may know what it
" It will seem nothing to you. Such whims are
only impressive as we originate them, I think ; they
are not to be communicated. I have sometimes sat
alone here of an evening, listening, until I have made
the echoes out to be the echoes of all the footsteps
that are coming by and by into our lives."
" There is a great crowd coming one day into our
lives, if that be so," Sydney Carton struck in, in his
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 139
The footsteps were incessant, and the hurry of them
became more and more rapid. The corner echoed and
reechoed with the tread of feet ; some, as it seemed,
under the windows ; some, as it seemed, in the room ;
some coming, some going, some breaking off, some
stopping altogether; all in the distant streets, and not
one within sight
"Are all these footsteps destined to come to all of
us, Miss Manette, or are we to divide them among
" I don't know, Mr. Darnay ; I told you it was a
foolish fancy, bat you asked for it. When I have
yielded myself to it, I have been alone, and then I
have imagined them the footsteps of the people who
are to come into my life, and my father's.''
" I take them into mine ! " said Carton. " I ask no
questions and make no stipulations. There is a great
crowd bearing down npon us, Miss Manette, and I see
them ! by the Lightning." He added the last
words, after there had been a vivid flash which had
shown him lounging in the window.
" And X hear them ! " he added again, after a peal
of thunder. " Here they come, fast, fierce, and furi-
It was the rush and roar of rain that he typified,
and it stopped him, for uo voice could be heard in it
A memorable storm of thunder and lightning broke
with that sweep of water, and there was not a mo-
ment's interval in crash, and fire, and rain, until after
the moon rose at midnight
The great bell of Saint Paul's was striking One in
the cleared air, when Mr. Lorry, escorted by Jerry,
high-booted and bearing a lantern, set forth on his
140 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
return-passage to Gerkenwell. There were solitary
patches of road on the way between Soho and Clerk-
enwell, and Mr. Lorry, mindful of footpads, always
retained Jerry for this service : though it was usually
performed a good two hours earlier.
" What a night it has been ! Almost a night, Jer-
ry," said Mr. Lorry, " to bring the dead out of their
"I never see the night myself, master — nor yet I
don't expect to it — what would do that," answered
" Good-night, Mr. Carton," aaid the man of busi-
ness. " Good-night, Mr. Darnay. Shall we ever see
such a night again, together ! "
Perhaps. Perhaps, see the great crowd of people
with its rush and roar, bearing down upon them, too.
A. TALK OF TWO CITIES.
MOMSIEUB THE MAiiqtriB IK TOWM.
Monseigheub, one of the great lords in power at the
Court, held his fortnightly reception in his grand hotel in
Paris. Monseigneur was in bis inner room, his sanctu-
ary of sanctuaries, the Holiest of Holiesta to the crowd
of worshippers in the suite of rooms without. Moneeig-
neur was about to take his chocolate. Monseigneur could
swallow a great many things with ease, and was by some
few sullen minds supposed to be rather rapidly swallow-
ing France; but, his morning's chocolate could not so
much as get Into the throat of Monseigneur, without the
aid of four strong men besides the Cook.
Tes. It took four men, all four ablaze with gorgeous
decoration, and the Chief of them unable to exist with
fewer than two gold watches in his pocket, emulative of
the noble and chaste fashion set by Monseigneur, to con-
duct the happy chocolate to Monseigneur's lips. One
lackey carried the chocolate-pot into the sacred pres-
ence ; a second, milled and frothed the chocolate with
the little instrument he bore for that function ; a third,
presented the favored napkin ; a fourth (he of the two
gold watches) poured the chocolate out It was impos-
sible for Monseigneur to dispense with one of these
attendants on the chocolate and hold his high place
nnder the admiring Heavens. Deep would have been
142 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
the blot upon fais escutcheon if his chocolate had been
ignobly waited on by only three men j he must have died
Monseigneur had been out at a little supper last night,
where the Comedy and the Grand Opera were charm-
ingly represented. Monseigneur was out at a little sup-
per most nights, with fascinating company. So polite
and so impressible was Monseigneur, that the Comedy
and the Grand Opera had far more influence with him
in the tiresome articles of state affairs and state secrete,
than the needs of all France. A happy circumstance
for France, as the like always is for all countries simi-
larly favored I — always was for England (by way of
example), in the regretted days of the merry Stuart who
Monseigneur had one truly noble idea of general pub-
lic business, which was, to let everything go on in its own
way ; of particular public business, Monseigneur had the
Other truly noble idea that it must all go his way — tend
to his own power and pocket Of his pleasures, general
and particular, Monseigneur had the other truly noble
idea, that the world was made for them. The text of
his order (altered from the original by only a pronoun,
which is not much) ran: "The earth and the fulness
thereof are mine, saith Monseigneur."
Yet, Monseigneur had slowly found that vulgar embar-
rassments crept into his affairs, both private and public;
and he had, as to both classes of affairs, allied himself per
force with a Fanner-General. As to finances public, be-
cause Monseigneur could not make anything at all of
them, and must consequently let them out to somebody
who could ; as to finances private, because Farmer-Gen-
erals were rich, and Monseigneur, after generations nf
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 148
great luxury and expense, was growing poor. Hence,
Monseigneur had taken his sister from a convent, while
there was yet time to ward off the impending veil, the
cheapest garment she could wear, and had bestowed her
as a prize upon a very rich Farmer-General, poor in
family. Which Farmer-General, carrying an appropriate
cane with a golden apple on the top of it, was now among
the company in the outer rooms, much prostrated before
by mankind — always excepting superior mankind of the
blood of Monseigneur, who, his own wife included, looked
down upon him with the loftiest contempt.
A sumptuous man was the Farmer- General. Thirty
horses stood in his stables, twenty-four male domestics
sat in his halls, six body-women waited on his wife. As
one who pretended to do nothing but plunder and forage
where he could, the Farmer- General — howsoever his
matrimonial relations conduced to social morality — was
at least the greatest reality among the personages who
attended at the hotel of Monseigneur that day.
For, the rooms, though a beautiful scene to look at,
and adorned with every device of decoration that the
taste and skill of the time could achieve, were, in truth,
not a sound business ; considered with any reference to
the scarecrows in the rags and night -caps elsewhere (and
not so far off, either, but that the watching towers of
Notre- Dame, almost equidistant from the two extremes,
could see them both), they would have been an exceed-
ingly uncomfortable business — if that could have been
anybody's business, at the house of Monseigneur. Mili-
tary officers destitute of military knowledge ; naval officers
with no idea of a ship ; civil officers without a notion of
affairs ; brazen ecclesiastics, of the worst world worldly,
with sensual eyes, loose tongues, and looser lives ; all
144 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
totally unfit for their several callings, all lying horribly
in pretending to belong to them, but all nearly or re-
motely of the order of Monseigneur, and therefore
foisted on all public employments from which anything
was to be got ; these were to be told off by the score
and the score. People not immediately connected with
Monseigneur or the State, yet equally unconnected with
anything that was real, or with lives passed in travelling
by any straight road to any true earthly end, were no less
abundant. Doctors who made great fortunes out of
dainty remedies for imaginary disorders that never ex-
isted, smiled upon their courtly patients in the ante-
chambers of Monseigneur. Projectors who had dis-
covered every kind of remedy for the little evils with
which the State was touched, except the remedy of set-
ting to work in earnest to root out a single sin, poured
their distracting babble into any ears they could lay hold
of, at the reception of Monseigneur. Unbelieving Phi-
losophers who were remodelling the world with words,
and making card-towers of Babel to scale the skies with,
talked with Unbelieving Chemists who had an eye on
the transmutation of metals, at this wonderful gathering
accumulated by Monseigneur. Exquisite gentlemen of
the finest breeding, which was at that remarkable time — •
and has been since — to be known by its fruits of indif-
ference to every natural subject of human interest, were
in the most exemplary state of exhaustion, at the hotel
of Monseigneur. Such homes had these various nota-
bilities left behind them in the fine world of Paris, that
the Spies among the assembled devotees of Monseigneur
— forming a goodly half of the polite company — woald
have found it hard to discover among the angels of that
sphere, one solitary wife, who, in her manners and ap-
A TALE OF TWO CTTCEa. 145
pearance, owned to being a Mother. Indeed, except for
the mere act of bringing a troublesome creature into
this world, — which does not go far towards, the realiza-
tion of the name of mother, — there was no such thing
known to the fashion. Feasant women kept the unfash-
ionable babies close, and brought them up ; and charm'
ing grandmammas of sixty dressed and supped as at
The leprosy of unreality disfigured every human crea-
ture in attendance upon Man seigneur. In the outer-
most room were half a dozen exceptional people who
had had, for a few years, some vague misgiving in them
that things in general were going rather wrong. As a
promising way of setting them right, half of the half-
dozen had become members of a fantastic sect of Con-
vulsionista, and were even then considering within them-
selves whether they should foam, rage, roar, and turn
cataleptic on the spot — thereby setting up a highly in-
telligible finger-post to the Future, for Monseigneur's
guidance. Beside these Dervishes, were other three who
bad rushed into another sect, which mended matters with
a jargon about " the Centre of truth : " holding that Man
had got out of the Centre of truth, — which did not need
much demonstration, — but bad not got out of the Cir-
cumference, and that he was to be kept from flying oat
of the Circumference, and was even to be shoved back
into the Centre, by fasting and seeing of spirits. Among
these, accordingly, much discoursing with spirits went
on, — and it did a world of good which never became
But the comfort was, that all the company at the
grand hotel of Monseigneur were perfectly dressed. If
the Day of Judgment had only been ascertained to be a
146 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
dress day, everybody there would have been eternally
correct Such frizzling and powdering and sticking up
of hair, such delicate complexions artificially preserved
and mended, such gallant swords to look at, and such
delicate honor to the sense of smell, would surely keep
anything going, forever and ever. The exquisite gen-
tlemen of the finest breeding wore little pendent trinkets
that chinked as they languidly moved ; these golden fet-
ters rang like precious little bells ; and what with that
ringing, and with the rustle of silk and brocade and fine
linen, there was a flutter in the air that fanned Saint
Antoine and his devouring hunger tar away.
Dress was the one unfailing talisman and charm used
for keeping all things in their places. Everybody was
dressed for a Fancy Ball that was never to leave off.
From the Palace of the Tuileries, through Monseigneur
and the whole Court, through the Chambers, the Tri-
bunals of Justice, and all society (except the scarecrows),
the Fancy Ball descended to the Common Executioner :
who, in pursuance of the charm, was required to officiate
" frizzled, powdered, in a gold-laced coat, pumps, and
white silk stockings." At the gallons and the wheel —
the axe was a rarity, — Monsieur Paris, as it was the
episcopal mode among his brother Professors of the prov-
inces, Monsieur Orleans, and the rest, to call him, pre-
sided in this dainty dress. And who among the com-
pany at Monseigneur's reception, in that seventeen hun-
dred and eightieth year of our Lord, could possibly
doubt, that a system rooted in a frizzled hangman, pow-
dered, gold-laced, pumped, and white-silk stockinged,
would see the very stars outl
Monseigneur having eased his four men of their bur-
dens, and taken his chocolate, caused the doors of the
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 147
Holiest of Holiests to be thrown open, and issued forth.
Then, what submission, what cringing and fawning, what
servility, what abject humiliation I As to bowing down
in body and spirit, nothing in that way was left for
Heaven, — which may have been one among other rea-
sons why the worshippers of Monseigneur never troubled
Bestowing a word of promise here and a smile there,
a whisper on one happy slave and a wave of the hand
on another, Monseigneur affably passed through his rooms
to the remote region of the Circumference of Truth.
There, Monseigneur turned, and came back again, and
so in due course of time got himself shut up in his sanc-
tuary by the chocolate sprites, and was seen no more.
The show being over, the flutter in the air became
quite a little storm, and the precious little bells went
ringing down-stairs. There was soon but one person
left of all the crowd, and he, with his hat under his arm
and his snuff-box in his hand, slowly passed among the
miiTors on his way out.
" I devote you," said this person, stopping at the last
door on his way, and turning in the direction of the
sanctuary; " to the Devil ! "
With that, he shook the snuff from his fingers as if he
had shaken the dust from his feet, and quietly walked
He was a man of about sixty, handsomely dressed,
haughty in manner, and with a face like a fine mask.
A face of a transparent paleness ; every feature in it
clearly defined ; one set expression on it. The nose,
beautifully formed otherwise, was ■ very slightly pinched
at the top of each nostril. In those two compressions,
or dints, the only little change that the face ever showed,
148 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
resided. They persisted in changing color sometimes,
and they would be occasionally dilated and contracted by
something like a faint pulsation ; then they gave a look
of treachery and cruelty to tbe whole countenance. Ex-
amined with attention, its capacity of helping such a
look was to be found in the lino of the mouth, and the
lines of tbe orbits of the eyes, being much too horizontal
and thin; still, iu the effect tbe face made, it was a
handsome face, and a remarkable one.
Its owner went down-stairs into the court-yard, got
into his carriage, and drove away. Not many people
had talked with him at the reception ; he bad stood in a
little space apart, and Monseigneur might have been
wanner in his manner. It appeared, under the circum-
stances, rather agreeable to bim to see the common peo-
ple dispersed before his horses, ^nd often barely escap-
ing from being run down. Bis man drove as if he were
charging an enemy ; and tbe furious recklessness of tbe
man brought no check into the face, or to the lips, of the
master. The complaint bad sometimes made itself au-
dible, even in that deaf city and dumb age, that, in the
narrow streets without footways, the fierce patrician cus-
tom of hard driving endangered and maimed the mere
vulgar in a barbarous manner. But few cared enough
for that to think of it a second time, and, in this matter,
as in all others, the common wretches were left to get
out of their difficulties as they could.
With a wild rattle and clatter, and an inhuman aban-
donment of consideration not easy to be understood in
these days, the carriage dashed through streets and
swept round corners, with women screaming before it,
and men clutching each other and clutching children out
of its way. At last, swooping at a street corner by a
A TALE OF TWO CITIE3. 149
fountain, one of ita wheels came to a sickening little jolt,
and there was a loud cry from a number of voices, and
the horses reared and plunged.
But for the latter inconvenience, the carriage probably
would not have stopped ; carriages were often known to
drive on, and leave their wounded behind, and why not?
But the frightened valet had got down in a hurry, and
there were twenty hands at the horses' bridles.
" What has gone wrong ? " said Monsieur, calmly look-
A tall man in a night-cap had caught up a bundle from
among the feet of the horses, and had laid it on the
basement of the fountain, and was down in the mud and
wet, bowling over it like a wild animal.
" Pardon, Monsieur the Marquis I " said a ragged and
submissive man, " it is a child."
"Why does he make that abominable noise? Is it
" Excuse me, Monsieur the Marquis, — it is a pity, —
The fountain was a little removed ; for the street
opened, where it was, into a space some ten or twelve
yards square. As the tall man suddenly got up from
the ground, and came running at the carriage, Monsieur
the Marquis clapped bis hand for an instant on his
" Killed ! " shrieked the man, in wild desperation, ex-
tending both arms at their length above bis head, and
staring at him. " Dead ! "
The people closed round, and looked at Monsieur the
Marquis. There was nothing revealed by the many
eyes that looked at him but watchfulness and eagerness ;
there was no visible menacing or anger. .Neither did
150 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
the people say anything; after the first cry, they had
been silent, and they remained so. The voice of the
submissive man who had spoken was flat and tame in
its extreme submission. Monsieur the Marquis ran his
eyes over them all, as if they had been mere rats come
out of their boles.
He took out his purse.
" It is extraordinary to me," said he, " that you peo-
ple cannot take care of yourselves and your children.
One or the other of you is forever in the way. How
do I know what injury you have done my horses. See 1
Give him that."
He threw out a gold coin for the valet to pick up,
and all the heads craned forward that all the eyes might
look down at it as it fell. The tall man called out again
with a most unearthly cry, " Dead ! "
He was arrested by the quick arrival of another man,
for whom the rest made way. On seeing him, the raiser-
able creature fell upon his shoulder, sobbing and crying,
and pointing to tbe fountain, where some women were
stooping over the motionless bundle, and moving gently
about it. They were as silent, however, as the men.
" I know all, I know all," said tbe last comer. " Be
a brave man, my Gaapard ! It is better for the poor
little plaything to die so, than to live. It has died in a
moment without pain. Could it have lived an hour as
happily ? "
" You are a philosopher, you there," said the Marquis,
smiling. " How do they call you ? "
" They call me Defarge."
" Of what trade ? "
" Monsieur the Marquis, vender of wine."
" Pick up that, philosopher and vender of wine," said
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 151
the Marquis, throwing him another gold coin, " and
spend it as yon will. The horses there; are they right ?"
Without deigning to look at the assemblage a second
time, Monsieur the Marquis leaned back in his Beat, and
was just being driven away with the air of a gentleman
who had accidentally broken some common thing, and
had paid for it, and could afford to pay for it; when his
ease was suddenly disturbed by a coin flying into his
carriage and ringing on its floor.
" Hold ! " said Monsieur the Marquis. " Hold the
horses ! Who threw that ? "
He looked to the spot where Defarge the vender of
wine had stood, a moment before; but the wretched
father was grovelling on his face on the pavement in
that spot, and the figure that stood beside him was the
figure of a dark stout woman, knitting.
"You dogs I" said the Marquis, but smoothly, and
with an unchanged front, except as to the spots on his
nose i " I would ride over any of you very willingly,
and exterminate you from the earth. If I knew which
rascal threw at tbe carriage, and if that brigand were
sufficiently near it, he should be crushed under the
So cowed was their condition, and so long and so hard
their experience of what such a man could do to them,
within the law and beyond it, that not a voice, or a hand,
or even an eye, was raised. Among the men, not one.
But the woman who stood knitting looked up steadily,
and looked the Marquis in the face. It was not for his
dignity to notice it ; his contemptuous eyes passed over
her, and over all the other rats ; and he leaned back in
bis seat again, and gave the word " Go on ! "
He was driven on, and other carriages came whirling
152 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
by in quick succession ; the Minister, the State-Projec-
tor, the Farmer-General, the Doctor, the Lawyer, the
Ecclesiastic, the Grand Opera, the Comedy, the whole
Fancy Ball in a bright continuous flow, came whirling
by. The rats had crept out of their holes to look on,
and they remained looking on for hours; soldiers and
police often passing between them and the spectacle, and
making a barrier behind which they slunk, and through
which they peeped. The father had long ago taken up
bis bundle and hidden himself away with it, when the
women who had tended the bundle, while it lay on the
base of the fountain, sat there watching the running of
the water and the rolling of the ,Fancy Ball, — when
the one woman who had stood conspicuous, knitting, still
knitted on with the steadfastness of Fate. The water of
the fountain ran, the swift river ran, the day ran into
evening, so much life in the city ran into death accord-
ing to rule, time and tide waited for no man, the rats
were sleeping close together in their dark holes again,
the Fancy Ball was lighted up at supper, all things ran
A TALE OP TWO CITIES.
MONSIEUR THB MARQUIS IN THE
A beautiful landscape, with the corn bright in it,
but not abundant. Patches of poor rye where corn
should have been, patches of poor peas and beans,
patches of most coarse vegetable substitutes for wheat.
On inanimate nature, as on the men and women who
cultivated it, a prevalent tendency towards an appear-
ance ' of vegetating unwillingly, — a dejected disposition
to give up, and wither away.
Monsieur the Marquis, in his travelling carriage
(which might have been lighter), conducted by four
post-horses and two postilions, fagged up a steep hill.
A blush on the countenance of Monsieur the Marquis
was no impeachment of his high breeding; it was not
from within ; it was occasioned by an external circum-
stance beyond his control — the setting sun.
The sunset struck so brilliantly into the travelling-
carriage when it gained the hill-top, that its occupant
was steeped in crimson. " It will die out," said Mon-
sieur the Marquis, glancing at his hands, " directly."
In effect, the sun was so low that it dipped at the
moment. When the heavy drag had been adjusted to
the wheel, and the carriage slid down bill, with a cin-
derous smell, in a cloud of dust, the red glow depart-
ed quickly; the sun and the Marquis going down to-
154 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
getfaer, there was no glow left when the drag was taken
But there remained a broken country, bold and open,
a little village at the bottom of the hill, a broad sweep
and rise beyond it, a church-tower, a windmill, a forest
for the chase, and a crag with a fortress on it used as a
prison. Round upon all these darkening objects, as the
night drew on, the Marquis looked, with the air of one
who was coming near home.
The village had its one poor street, with its poor brew-
ery, poor tannery, poor tavern, poor stable-yard for re-
lays of post-horses, poor fountain, all usual poor appoint-
ments. It had its poor people too. All its people were
poor, and many of them were sitting at their doors,
shredding spare onions and the like for supper, while
many were at the fountain, washing leaves, and grasses,
and any such small yieldings of the earth that could be
eaten. Expressive signs of what made them poor were
not wanting; the tax for the slate, the tax for the church,
the tax for the lord, tax local and tax general, were to
be paid here and to be paid there, according to solemn
inscription in the little village, until the wonder was,
that there was any village left uns wallowed.
Few children were to be seen, and no dogs. As to
the men and women, their choice on earth was stated in
the prospect — Life on the lowest terms that could sus-
tain it, down in the little village under the mill ; or cap-
tivity and Death in the dominant prison on the crag.
Heralded by a courier in advance, and by the cracking
of his postilions' whips, which twined snake-like about
their heads in the evening air, as if he came attended by
the Furies, Monsieur the Marquis drew up in bis travel-
ling carriage at the posting-houae gate. It was hard by
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 155
the fountain, and the peasants suspended their operations
to look at him. He looked at them, and saw in them,
without knowing it, the slow sure filing down of misery-
worn nice and figure, that was to make the meagre ness
of Frenchmen an English superstition which should sur-
vive the truth through the best part of a hundred years.
Monsieur the Marquis cast his eyes over the submis-
sive faces that drooped before him, as the like of himself
had drooped before Monseignenr of the Court — only
the difference was, that these faces drooped merely to
suffer and not to propitiate — when a grizzled mender
of the roads joined the group.
" Bring me hither that fellow ! " said the Marquis to
The fellow was brought, cap in hand, and the other
fellows closed round to look and listen, in the manner
of the people at the Paris fountain.
" I passed you on the road ? "
" Monseigneur, it is true. I had the honor of being
passed on the road."
" Coming up the hill, and at the top of the hill,
" Monseigneur, it is true."
" What did you look at, so fixedly ? "
" Monseigneur, I looked at the man."
He stooped a little, and with his tattered blue cap
pointed under the carriage. All his fellows stooped to
look under the carriage.
" What man, pig ? And why look there ? "
" Pardon, Monseignenr j he swung by the chain of the
shoe — the drag."
" Who ? " demanded the traveller.
" Monseigneur, the man."
156 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
" May the Devil carry away these idiots ! How do
you call the man F You know all the men of this part
of the country. Who was he ? "
" Your clemency, Monseigneur ! He was not of this
part of the country. Of all the days of my life, I never
" Swinging by the chain ? To be suffocated ? "
" With your gracious permission, that was the wonder
of it, Monseigneur. H™ head hanging over — like
this I " ■
He turned himself sideways to the carriage, and leaned
back, with his face thrown up to the sky, and hb head
hanging down ; then recovered himself, fumbled with his
cap, and made a bow.
" What waB he like ? "
" Monseigneur, he was whiter than the miller. All
covered with dust, white as a spectre, tali as a spectre ! "
The picture produced an immense sensation in the
little crowd ; but all eyes, without comparing notes with
other eyes, looked at Monsieur the Marquis. Perhaps,
to observe whether he had any spectre on his conscience.
"Truly, you did well," said the Marquis, felicitously
sensible that such vermin were not to ruffle him, " to. see
a thief accompanying my carriage, and not open that
great mouth of yours. Bah ! Put him aside, Monsieur
Gabelle ! "
Monsieur Gabelle was the Postmaster, and some other
taxing functionary, united ; he had come out with great
obsequiousness to assist at this examination, and had held
the ' examined by the drapery of his arm in an official
" Bah ! Go aside ! " said Monsieur Gabelle.
" Lay hands on this stranger if he seeks to lodge in
A TALE OF TWO CITIEa. 157
your village to-night, and be sure that his business is
" Muuueigneur, I am flattered to devote myself to your
"Did he run away, fellow? — where is that Ac-
The accursed was already under the carriage with
some half-dozen particular friends, pointing out the chain
with his blue cap. Some half-dozen other particular
friends promptly baled him oat, and presented him
breathless to Monsieur the Marquis.
"Did the man run away, Dolt, when we stopped for
the drag ? "
"Monaeigneur, he precipitated himself over the hill-
side, head first, as a person plunges into the river."
» See to it, Gabelle. Go on ! "
The half-dozen who were peering at the chain were
still among the wheels, like sheep ; the wheels turned so
suddenly that they were lucky to save their skins and
bones ; they had very little else to save, or they might
not have been so fortunate.
The hurst with which the carriage started out of the
village and up the rise beyond, was soon checked by the
steepness of the hill. Gradually, it subsided to a foot
pace, swinging and lumbering upward among the many
sweet scents of a summer night. The postilions, with a
thousand gossamer gnats circling about them in lieu of
the Furies, quietly mended the points to the lashes of
their whips ; the valet walked by the horses ; the cour-
ier was audible, trotting on ahead into the dim distance.
At the steepest point of the hill there was a little
burial-ground, with a Cross and a new large figure of
Our Saviour on it ; it was a poor figure in wood, done
by some inexperienced rustic carver, but he had studied
o 8 Ic
158 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
the figure from the life — his own life, maybe — for it
was dreadfully spare and thin.
To this distressful emblem of a great distress that had
long been growing worse, and was not at its worst, a
woman was kneeling. She turned her head as the car-
riage came up to her, rose quickly, and presented her-
self at the carriage-door.
" It is you, Monseigneur ! Monseigneur, a petition ! "
With an exclamation of impatience, but with his un-
changeable face, the Marquis looked out.
" How, then 1 What is it I Always petitions I "
" Monseigneur. For the love of the great God ! My
husband, the forester."
" What of your husband, the forester ? Always the
same with yon people. He cannot pay something ? "
"He has paid all, Monseigneur. He is dead."
" Well ! He is quiet Can I restore him to you ? "
" Alas, no, Monseigneur ! But he lies yonder, under a
little heap of poor grass."
" Monseigneur, there are so many little heaps of poor
" Again, well ? "
She looked an old woman, but was young. Her man-
ner was one of passionate grief; by turns she clasped
her veinous and knotted hands together with wild energy,
and laid one of them on the carriage-door — tenderly,
caressingly, as if it had been a human breast, and could
be expected to feel the appealing touch.
" Monseigneur, hear me I Monseigneur, hear my
petition I My husband died of want ; so many die of
want ; so many more will die of want"
" Again, well ? Can I feed them ? "
" Monseigneur, the good God knows ; but I don't ask
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 159
it My petition is, that a morsel of stone or wood, with
my husband's name, may be placed over him to show
where he lies. Otherwise, the place will be quickly for-
gotten, it will never be found when I am dead of the
Bame malady, I shall be laid under some other heap of
poor grass. Monseigneur, they are so many, they in-
crease so fast, there is so much want. Monseigneur I
Monseigneur I "
The valet had put her away from the door, the carriage
had broken into a brisk trot, the postilions had quickened
the pace, she was left far behind, and the Marquis, again
escorted by the Furies, was rapidly diminishing' the league
or two of distance that remained between him and his
The sweet scents of the summer night rose all around
him, and rose, as the rain falls, impartially, on the dusty,
ragged, and toil-worn group at the fountain not far away ;
to whom the mender of roads, with the aid of the blue
cap, without which he was nothing, still enlarged upon
his man like a spectre, as long as they could bear it.
By degrees, as they could bear no more, they dropped
off one by one, and lights twinkled in little casements ;
which lights, as the casements darkened, and more stars
came out, seemed to have shot up into the sky instead
of having been extinguished.
The shadow of a large high-roofed house, and of many
overhanging trees, was upon Monsieur the Marquis by
that time ; and the shadow was exchanged for the light
of a flambeau, as his carriage stopped, and the great
door of his chateau was opened to him.
"Monsieur Charles, whom I expect; is he arrived
from England F "
" Monseigneur, not yet"
A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
It was a heavy mass of building, that chateau of
Monsieur the Marquis, with a large stone court-yard
before it, and two stone sweeps of staircase meeting in a
stone terrace before the principal door. A stony busi-
ness altogether, with heavy stone balustrades, and stone
urns, and stone flowers, and stone faces of men, and stone
heads of lions, in all directions. As if the Gorgon's head
bad surveyed it, when it was finished, two centuries ago.
Up the broad flight of shallow steps, Monsieur the
Marquis, flambeau preceded, went from his carriage,
sufficiently disturbing the darkness to elicit loud remon-
strance from an owl in the roof of the great pile of
stable-building away among the trees. All else was so
quiet, that the flambeau carried up the steps, arid the
other flambeau held at the great door, burnt as if they
were in a close room of slate, instead of being in the
open night-air. Other sound than the owl's voice there
was none, save the tailing of a fountain into its stone
basin ; for it was one of those dark nights that hold their
breath by the hour together, and then heave a long, low
sigh, and hold their breath again.
The great door clanged behind him, and Monsieur the
Marquis crossed a hall, grim with certain old boar-spears,
swords, and knives of the chase ; grimmer with certain
A. TALE OF TWO CITIES. 161
heavy riding rod a and riding whips, of which many a
peasant, gone to his benefactor Death, had felt the
weight when his lord was angry.
Avoiding the larger rooms, which were dark and made
fast for the night, Monsieur the Marquis, with his flam-
bean-bearer going on before, went up the staircase to a
door in a corridor. This thrown open, admitted him to
his own private apartment of three rooms, — his bed-
chamber and two others. High vaulted rooms, with cool,
uncarpeted floors, great dogs upon the hearths for the
burning of wood in winter time, and all luxuries befit-
ting the state of a marquis in a luxurious age and coun-
try. The fashion of the last Louis but one, of the line
that was never to break, — the fourteenth Louis, — was
conspicuous in their rich furniture ; but it was diversified
by many objects that were illustrations of old pages in "
the history of France.
A supper-table was laid for two, in the third of the
rooms ; a round room, in one of the chateau's four ex-
tinguisher-topped towers; a small lofty room, with its
window wide open, and the wooden jalousie-blinds closed,
so that the dark night only showed in slight horizontal
lines of black, alternating with their broad lines of stone-
" My nephew," said the Marquis, glancing at the sup-
per preparation; " they said he was not arrived."
Nor was he ; but he had been expected with Monseig-
"Ah! It is not probable he will arrive to-night;
nevertheless, leave the table as it is. I shall be ready
in a quarter of an hour."
In a quarter of an hour, Monseigneur was ready, and
sat down alone to his sumptuous and choice supper. His
162 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
chair was opposite to the window, and he had taken his
soup, and was raising his glass of Bordeaux to his lips,
when he put it down.
"What is that?" he calmly asked, looking with at-
tention at the horizontal lines of black and stone color.
" Monseigneur ? That ? "
" Outside the blinds. Open the blinds."
It was done.
" Monseigneur, it is nothing. The trees and the night
are all that are here." ,
The servant who spoke had thrown the blinds wide,
had looked out into the vacant darkness, and stood, with
that blank behind him, looking round for instruc-
" Good," said the imperturbable master. " Close
That was done too, and the Marquis went on with his
supper. He was half war through it, when he again
slopped with his glass in his hand, hearing the sound
of wheels. It came on briskly, and came up to the
front of the chateau.
"Ask who is arrived."
It was the nephew of Monseigneur. He had been
some few leagues behind Monseigneur, early in the
afternoon. He had diminished the distance rapidly, but
not so rapidly as to come up with Monseigneur on the
road. He had heard of Monseigneur, at the posting-
houses, as being before him.
He was to be told (said Monseigneur) that supper
awaited him then and there, and that he was prayed to
come to it. In a little while, be came. He had been
known in England as Charles Darnay.
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 163
afonseigneur received him in a courtly manner, bat
they did not shake hands.
* You left Paris yesterday, sir?" he said to Monseig-
neur, as he took his seat at table.
" Yesterday. And yon ? "
" I come direct."
" From London ? "
"You have been a long time coming," said the Mar-
quis, with a smile.
" On the contrary ; I come direct"
" Pardon me 1 I mean, not a long time on the jour-
ney ; a long time intending the journey."
" I have been detained by " — the nephew stopped a
moment in his answer — "various business."
" Without doubt," said the polished uncle.
So long as a servant was present, no other word passed
between them. When coffee had been served, and they
were alone together, the nephew, looking at the uncle
and meeting the eyes of the face that was like a flue
mask, opened a conversation,
" I have come back, sir, as you anticipate, pursuing
the object that took me away. It carried me into great
and unexpected peril ; but it is a sacred object, and if it
had carried me to death, I hope it would have sustained
" Not to death," said the uncle ; " it is not necessary
to say, to death."
"I doubt, sir," returned the nephew, "whether, if it
had carried me to the utmost brink of death, you would
have cared to stop me there."
The deepened marks in the nose, and the lengthening
of the fine straight lines in the cruel face, looked omin-
164 A TALE OP TWO CITIES.
out as to that ; the uncle made a graceful gesture of
protest, which was so clearly a slight form of good
breeding, that it was not reassuring.
" Indeed, sir," pursued the nephew, " for anything I
know, you may have expressly worked to give a more
auspicious appearance to the auspicious circumstances
that surrounded me."
" No, no, no," said the uncle, pleasantly.
"But, however that may be," resumed the nephew,
glancing at him with deep distrust, " I know that your
diplomacy would stop me by any means, and would know
no scruple as to means."
" My friend, I told yon so," said the uncle, with a fine
pulsation in the two marks. " Do me the favor to recall
that I told you so, long ago."
" I recall it."
"Thank you," said the Marquis — very sweetly in-
His tone lingered in the air, almost like the tone of a
" In effect, sir," pursued the nephew, " I believe it to
be at once your bad fortune, and my good fortune, that
has kept me out of a prison in France here."
" I do not quite understand," returned the uncle, sip-
ping his coffee. "' Dare I ask you to explain ? "
" I believe that if you were not in disgrace with the
court, and had not been overshadowed by that cloud for
years past, a letter de cachet would have sent me to some
" It is possible," said the uncle, with great calmness.
" For the honor of the family, I could even resolve to
incommode you to that extent Pray excuse me!"
" I perceive that, happily for me, the Reception of the
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 165
day before yesterday was, as usual, a cold one," observed
"I would not say happily, my friend," returned the
uncle, with refined politeness ; " I would not be sure of
that A good opportunity for consideration, surrounded
by the advantages of solitude, might influence your des-
tiny to fer greater advantage than you influence it for
yourself. But it is useless to discuss the question. I
am, aa you say, at a disadvantage. These little instru-
ments of correction, these gentle aids to the power and
honor of families, these slight favors that might so in-
commode you, are only to be obtained now by interest
and importunity. They are sought by so many, and
they are granted (comparatively) to so few I It used
not to be so, but France in all such things is changed
for the worse. Our not remote ancestors held the right
of life and death over the surrounding vulgar. From
this room, many such dogs have been taken out to be
hanged ; in the next room (my bedroom), one fellow, to
our knowledge, was poniarded on the spot for professing
some insolent delicacy respecting his daughter — Aw
daughter 1 We have lost many privileges; a new phi-
losophy has become the mode ; and the assertion of our
station, in these days, might (I do not go so far as to
say would, but might) cause us real inconvenience. All
very bad, very bad 1 "
The Marquis took a gentle little pinch of snuff, and
shook his head, — as elegantly despondent as he could
becomingly be, of a country still containing himself, that ' ,
great means of regeneration.
" We have so asserted our station, both in the old
time and in the modern time also," said the nephew,
gloomily, "that I believe our name to be more detested
than any name in France."
1G6 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
" Let us hope so," said the uncle. " Detestation of
the high, is the involuntary homage of the low."
"There is not," pursued the nephew, in his former
tone, " a face I can look at, in all this country round
about us, which looks at me with any deference on it but
the dark deference of fear and slavery."
"A compliment," said the Marquis, "to the grandeur
of the family, merited by the manner in which the family
has sustained its grandeur. Hah ! " And he took an-
other gentle little pinch of snuff, and lightly crossed his
But, when bis nephew, leaning an elbow on the table,
covered his eyes thoughtfully and dejectedly with his
hand, the fine mask looked at him sideways, with a
stronger concentration of keenness, closeness, and dis-
like than was comportable with its wearer's assumption
" Repression is the only lasting philosophy. The
dark deference of fear and slavery, my friend," ob-
served the Marquis, u will keep the dogs obedient to
the whip, as long as this roof," looking np to it,
" shuts out the sky."
That might not be so long as the Marquis snpposed.
If a picture of the chateau as it was to be a very few
years hence, and of fifty like it aa they too were to
be a very few years hence, could have been shown to
him that night, he might have been at a loss to claim
his own from the ghastly, fire-charred, pi under- wrecked
ruins. As for the roof he vaunted, he might have
found that shutting out the sky in a new way — to
wit, forever, from the eyes of the bodies into which
its lead was fired, out of the barrels of a hundred
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 1G7
" Meanwhile," said the Marquis, " I will preserve
the honor and repose of the family, if you will not.
But you must be fatigued. Shall we terminate our
conference for the night ? "
" A moment more,"
"An hour, if you please."
" Sir," said the nephew, " we have done wrong, and
are reaping the fruits of wrong."
" We have done wrong ? " repeated the Marquis,
with an inquiring smile, and delicately pointing, first
to his nephew, then to himself.
" Our family ; our honorable family, whose honor is
of so much account to both of us, in such different
ways. Even in my father's time, we did a world of
wrong, injuring every human creature who came be*
tween us and our pleasure, whatever it was. Why
need I speak of my father's time, when it is equally
yours ? Can I separate my father's twin-brother, joint
inheritor, and next successor, from himself?"
" Death has done that," said the Marquis.
"And has left me," answered the nephew, "bound
to a system that is frightful to me, responsible for it,
but powerless in it; seeking to execute the last re-
quest of my dear mother's lips, and obey the last
look of my dear mother's eyes, which implored me to
have mercy and to redress ; and tortured by seeking
assistance and power in vain."
-" Seeking them from me, my nephew," said the
Marquis, touching him on the breast with his fore-
finger — they were now standing by the hearth —
" you will forever seek them in vain, be assured."
. Every fine straight line in the clear whiteness of
his face was cruelly, craftily, and closely compressed,
168 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
while be stood looking quietly at his nephew, with his
snuff-box in his hand. Once again he touched him on
the breast, as though his finger were the fine point
of a small sword, with which, in delicate finesse, he
ran him through the body, and stud,
" My friend, I will die, perpetuating the system
under which I have lived."
When he had said it, he took a Culminating pinch
of snuff, and put his box in his pocket
" Better to be a rational creature," he added, then,
after ringing a small bell on the table, "and accept
your natural destiny. But you are lost, Monsieur
Charles, I see."
" This property and France are lost to me," said
the nephew, sadly ; " I renounce them."
" Are they both yours to renounce ? France may
be, but is the property? It is scarcely worth men-
tioning ; but, is it yet ? "
"I had no intention, in the words I used, to claim
it yet. If it passed to me from you, to-morrow"
" Which I have the vanity to hope is not probable."
— "or twenty years hence "
" Tou do me too much honor," said the Marquis ;
" still, I prefer that supposition."
— "I would abandon it, and live otherwise and
elsewhere. It is little to relinquish. What is it but
a wilderness of misery and ruin ! "
" Hah ! " said the Marquis, glancing round the lu x-
" To the eye it is fair enough, here j but seen in
its integrity, under the sky and by the daylight, it is
a crumbling tower of waste, mismanagement, extor-
tion, debt, mortgage, oppression, hunger, nakedness,
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 169
" Hah ! " said the Marquis again, in a well-satisfied
"If it ever becomes mine, it shall be put into some
hands better qualified to free it slowly (if such a
thing is possible) from the weight that drags it down,
so that the miserable people who cannot leave it and
who have been long wrung to tbe last point of en-
durance, may, in another generation, suffer less ; but
it is not for me. There is a curse on it, and on all
" And you ? " said the uncle. " Forgive my curi-
osity ; do you, under your new philosophy, graciously
intend to live?"
"I must do, to Eve, what others of my country-
men, even with nobility at their backs, may have to
do some day — work."
" In England, for example 7 "
" Yes. The family honor, sir, is safe from me in
this country. The family name can suffer from me
in no other, for I bear it in uo other."
The ringing of the boll had caused the adjoining
bedchamber to be lighted. It now shone brightly,
through the door of communication. The Marquis
looked that way, and listened for the retreating step
of his valet.
"England is very attractive to you, seeing how in-
differently you have prospered there," he observed
then, turning his calm face to his nephew with a
"I have already said, that for my prospering there,
I am sensible I may be indebted to you, sir. For
the rest, it is my Refuge."
" They say, those boastful English, that it is the
170 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
Refuge of many. You know a compatriot who has
found a Refuge there ? A Doctor?"
"With a daughter?"
" Yes," said the Marquis. " You are fatigued. Good-
As he bent his bead in his most courtly manner,
there was a secrecy in his smiling face, and he con-
veyed an air of mystery to those words, which struck
the eyes and ears of bis nephew forcibly. At the
same time, the thin straight lines of the setting of
the eyes, and the thin straight lips, and the markings
in the nose, carved with a sarcasm that looked hand-
" Yes," repeated the Marquis. " A Doctor with a
daughter. Yes. So commences the new philosophy I
You are fatigued. Good-night ! "
It would have been of as much avail to interrogate
any stone face outside the chateau, as to interrogate
that face of his. The nephew looked at him, in vain,
in passing on to the door.
" Good-night I " said the uncle. " I look to the
pleasure of seeing you again in the morning. Good
repose ! Light Monsieur my nephew to his chamber
there ! — And burn Monsieur my nephew in his bed,
if you will," he added to himself, before he rang his
little bell again, and summoned his valet to his own
The valet come and gone, Monsieur the Marquis
walked to and fro in bis loose chamber-robe, to pre*
pare himself gently for sleep, that hot still night.
Rustling about the room, his softly-slippered feet mak-
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 171
ing no nobe on the floor, ho moved like a refined
tiger : — looked like gome enchanted marquis of the
impenitently wicked sort, in story, whose periodical
change into tiger form was either just going off, or
just coining on.
He moved from end to end of his voluptuous bed-
room, looking again at the scraps of the day's journey
that came unbidden into his mind ; the slow toil up
the hill at sunset, the setting sun, the descent, the
mill, the prison on the crag, the little village in the
hollow, the peasants at the fountain, and the mender
of roads with his blue cap pointing ont the chain under
the carriage. That fountain suggested the Paris foun-
tain, the little bundle lying on the step, the women
bending over it, and the tall man with his arms up,
crying, " Dead ! "
" I am cool now," said Monsieur the Marquis, " and
may go to bed."
So, leaving only one light burning on the large
hearth, he let his thin gauze curtains fall around him,
and heard the night break its silence with a long sigh
as he composed himself to sleep.
The stone faces on the outer walls stared blindly
at the black night for three heavy hours ; for three
heavy hours, the horses in the stables rattled at their
racks, the dogs barked, and the owl made a noise
with very little resemblance in it to the noise conven-
tionally assigned to the owl by men-poets. But, it is
the obstinate custom of such creatures hardly ever to
say what is set down for them.
For three heavy hours, the stone faces of the cha-
teau, lion and human, stared blindly at the night
. lay on all the landscape, dead dark-
172 A TALE OF TWfl CITIES.
ness added its own hush to the bashing dust on all the
roads. The burial-place bad got to the pass that its
little heaps of poor grass were (indistinguishable from
one another; the figure on the Cross might have come
down, for anything that could be seen of it in the
village, taxers and taxed were fast asleep. Dreaming,
nerbaps, of banquets, as the starred usually do, and
of ease and rest, as the driven slave and the yoked
ox may, its lean inhabitants slept soundly, and were
fed and freed.
The fountain in the village flowed unseen and un-
heard, and the fountain at the chateau dropped unseen
and unheard — both melting away, like the minutes
that were falling from the spring of Time — through
three dark hoars. Then, the gray water of both be-
gan to be ghostly in the light, and the eyes of the
stone faces of the chateau were opened.
It grew lighter and lighter, until at last the sun
touched the tops of the still trees, and poured its ra-
diance over the hill. In the glow, the water of the
chateau fountain seemed to turn to blood, and the
stone faces crimsoned. The carol of the birds was
loud and high, and, on the weather-beaten sill of the
great window of the bedchamber of Monsieur the
Marquis, one little bird sang its sweetest song with
all its might. At this, the nearest stone face seemed
to stare amazed, and, with open mouth and dropped
under-jaw, looked awe-stricken.
Now, the sun was full up, and movement began in
the village. Casement windows opened, crazy doors
were unbarred, and people came forth shivering —
chilled, as yet, by the new sweet air. Then began
the rarely lightened toil of the day among the village
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 178
population. Some, to the fountain ; some, to the fields ;
men and women here, to dig and delve; men and women
there, to see to the poor live stock, and lead the bony
cows out, to such pasture as could be found by the
roadside. In the church and at the Cross, a kneel-
ing figure or two ; attendant on the latter prayers, the
led cow, trying for a breakfast among the weeds at
The chateau awoke later, as became ita quality, bat
awoke gradually and surely. First, the lonely boar
spears and knives of the chase bad been reddened as
of old ; then, had gleamed trenchant in the morning
sunshine ; now, doors and windows were thrown open,
horses in the stables looked /round over their shoul-
ders at the light and freshness pouring in at door-ways,
leaves sparkled and rustled at iron-grated windows,
dogs pulled hard at their chains, and reared impa-
tient to be loosed.
All these trivial incidents belonged to the routine of
life, and the return of morning. Surely, not so the*
ringing of the great bell of the chateau, nor the run-
ning up and down the stairs, nor the hurried figures on
the terrace, nor the booting and tramping here and
there and everywhere, nor the quick saddling of horses
and riding away ?
What winds conveyed this hurry to the grizzled
mender of roads, already at work on the hill-top be-
yond the village, with his day's dinner (not much to
carry) lying in a bundle that it was worth no crow's
while to. peck at, on a heap of stones ? Had the birds,
carrying some grains of it to a distance, dropped one
over him as they sow chance seeds? Whether or no,
the mender of roads ran, on the sultry morning, as if
174 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
for bis life, down the hill, knee-high in dust, and never
stopped till he got to the fountain.
All the people of the village were at the fountain,
standing about in their depressed manner, and whisper-
ing softly, but showing no other emotions than grim curi-
osity and surprise. The led cows, hastily brought in and
tethered to anything that would hold them, were looking
stupidly on, or were lying down chewing the cud of noth-
ing particularly repaying their trouble, which they had
picked np in their interrupted saunter. Some of the
people of the chateau, and some of those of the posting-
bouse, and all the taxing authorities, were armed more
or less, and were crowded on the other side of the little
street in a purposeless way, that was highly fraught, with
nothing. Already, the mender of roads had penetrated
into the midst of a group of fifty particular friends, and
was smiting himself in the breast with his blue cap.
What did all this portend, and what portended the swift
hoisting up of Monsieur Gabelle behind a servant on
horseback, and the conveying away of the said Gabelle
(double-laden though the horse was), at a gallop, like a
new version of the German ballad of Leonora ?
It portended that there was one stone face too many,
up at the chateau.
The Gorgon had surveyed the building again in the
night, and had added the one stone face wanting ; the
stone face for which it had waited through about two
It lay back on the pillow of Monsieur the Marquis.
It was like a fine mask, suddenly startled, made angry,
and petrified. Driven home into the heart of the stone
figure attached to it, was a knife. Round its hilt was a
frill of paper, on which was scrawled:
"Drive him fast to his tomb. This, from Jacques."
A TALE OS TWO CITIES.
Mobe months, to the Dumber of twelve, had come
and gone, and Mr. Charles Darnay was established in
England as a higher teacher of the French language
who was conversant with French literature. In this age,
he would have been a Professor ; in that age, he was a
Tutor. He read with young men who could find any
leisure and interest for the study of a living tongue spoken
all over the world, and he cultivated a taste for its stores
of knowledge and fancy. He could write of them, besides,
in sound English, and render them into sound English.
Such masters were not at that time easily found ; Princes
that had been, and Kings that were to be, were not yet
of the Teacher class, and no ruined nobility had dropped
out of Tellson's ledgers, to turn cooks and carpenters.
As a tutor, whose attainments made the student's way
unusually pleasant and profitable, and as an elegant
translator who brought something to bis work besides
mere dictionary knowledge, young Mr. Darnay soon be-
came known and encouraged. He was well acquainted,
moreover, with the circumstances of bis country, and
those were of ever-growing interest. So, with great
perseverance and untiring industry, he prospered.
In London, he had expected neither to walk on pave-
ments of gold, nor to lie on beds of roses ; if he had had
176 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
any such exalted expectation, he would not have pros-
pered. He bad expected labor, and be found it, and did
it, and made the best of it. In this, bis prosperity con-
A certain portion of his time was passed at Cambridge,
where he read with under- graduates as a sort of tolerated
smuggler who drove a contraband trade in European lan-
guages, instead of conveying Greek and Latin through
the Custom-house. The rest of his time he passed in
Now, from the days when it was always summer in
Eden, to these days when it is mostly winter in fallen lati-
tudes, the world of a man has invariably gone one way
— Charles Darnay's way — the way of the love of a
He bad loved Lucie Manette from the hour of his
danger. He had never heard a sound so sweet and dear
as the sound of her compassionate voice ; be had never
seen a face so tenderly beautiful, as hers when it was
confronted with his own on the edge of the grave that
had been dug for him. But, he bad not yet spoken to
her on the subject; tbe assassination at the deserted
chateau far away beyond the heaving water and the long,
long, dnsty roads — the solid stone chateau which bad
itself become the mere mist of a dream — had been done
a year, and he had never yet, by so much as a single
spoken word, disclosed to ber the state of his heart.
That he bad bis reasons for this, he knew full well.
It was again a summer day when, lately arrived in Lon-
don from his college occupation, be turned into the quiet
corner in Soho, bent on seeking an opportunity of opening
> bis mind to Doctor Manette. ' It was the close of the sum-
mer day, and he knew Lucie to be out with Miss Press.
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 177
He found the Doctor reading in his arm-chair at a
window. The energy which had at once supported him
under bis old sufferings and aggravated their sharpness,
had been gradually restored to him. He was now a very
energetic man indeed, with great firmness of purpose,
strength of resolution, and vigor of action. In his recov-
ered energy he was sometimes a little fitful and sudden,
as he had at first been in the exercise of his other recov-
ered faculties ; but, this had never been frequently ob-
servable, and had grown more and more rare.
He studied much, slept little, sustained a great deal of
fatigue with ease, and was equably cheerful. To him,
now entered Charles Darnay, at sight of whom he laid
aside his book and held out his hand.
" Charles Darnay I I rejoice to see you. We have
been counting on your return these three or four days
past. Mr. Stryver and Sydney Carton were both here
yesterday, and both made you out to be more than due."
" I am obliged to them for their interest in the matter,"
he answered, a little coldly as to them, though very
warmly as to the Doctor. " Miss Manette "
" Is well," said the Doctor, as he stopped short, " and
your return will delight us all. She has gone out on
some household matters, but will soon be home."
" Doctor Manette, I knew she was from home. I took
the opportunity of her being from home, to beg to speak
There was a blank silence.
" Yes ? " said the Doctor, with evident constraint.
" Bring your chair here, and speak on."
He complied as to the chair, but appeared to find the
speaking on less easy.
" I have had the happiness, Doctor Manette, of being
178 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
bo intimate here," so he at length began, " for some year
and a half, that I hope the topic on which I am about to
touch may not "
He was stayed by the Doctor's putting out his hand
to stop him. When he had kept it so a little while, he
said, drawing it back!
" Is Lode the topic ? "
" She is."
" It is hard for me to speak of her, at any time. It
is very hard for me to hear her spoken of in that tone
of yours, Charles Darnay."
" It is a tone of fervent admiration, true homage and
deep love, Doctor Manette ! " he said, deferentially.
There was another blank silence before her rather
" I believe it I do you justice ; I believe it."
His constraint was so manifest, and it was so manifest,
too, that it originated in an unwillingness to approach the
subject, that Charles Darnay hesitated.
" Shall I go on, sir ? "
" Tea, go on."
" You anticipate what I would say, though you cannot
know how earnestly I say it, how earnestly I feel it,
without knowing my secret heart, and the hopes and fears
and anxieties with which it has long been laden. Dear
Doctor Manette, I love your daughter fondly, dearly,
disinterestedly, devotedly. If ever there were love iu
the world, I love her. You have loved yourself; let
your old love speak for me ! "
The Doctor sat with his face turned away, and his eyes
bent on the ground. At the last words, he stretched out
his band again, hurriedly, and cried, —
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 179
" Not that, bit ! Let that be I I adjure you, do not
recall that ! "
His cry was so like a cry of actual pain, that it rang in
Charles Darnay's ears long after he had ceased. He
motioned with the hand he had extended, and it seemed
to be an appeal to Darnay to pause. The latter so re-
ceived it, and remained silent.
" I ask your pardon," said the Doctor, in a subdued
tone, after some moments. " I do not doubt your loving
Lucie ; you may be satisfied of it."
He turned towards him in his chair, but did not look
at him, or raise his eyes. His chin drooped upon his
hand, and his white hair overshadowed his face :
" Have you spoken to Lucie ? "
" Nor written ? "
" It would be ungenerous to affect not to know that
your self-denial is K> be referred to your consideration for
her father. Her father thanks you."
He offered his hand ; but his eyes did not go with it.
" I know," said Darnay, respectfully, " how can I fail
to know, Doctor Manette, I who have seen you together
from day to day, that between you and Miss Manette
there is an affection so unusual, so touching, so belonging
to the circumstances in which it has been nurtured, that
it can have few parallels, even in the tenderness between
a father and child. I know, Doctor Manette — how can
I fail to know — that, mingled with the affection and
duty of a daughter who has become a woman, there is,
in her heart towards you, all the love and reliance of
infancy itself. I know that, as in her childhood she had
no parent, so she is now devoted to you with all the con-
180 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
etancy and fervor of her present years and character,
united to the trustfulness and attachment of the early
days in which you were lost to her. I know perfectly
well that if you had been restored to her from the world
beyond this Kfe, you could hardly be invested, in her
sight, with a more sacred character than that in which
you are always with her. I know that when she is cling-
ing to yon, the hands of baby, girl, and woman, all in
one, are round your neck. I know that in loving you
she sees and loves her mother at her own age, sees and
loves you at my age, loves her mother broken-hearted,
loves you through your dreadful trial and in your blessed
restoration. I have known this, night and day, since I
have known you in your home."
Her lather sat silent, with his face bent down. His
breathing was a little quickened; but he repressed all
other signs of agitation.
" Dear Doctor Manette, always knowing this, always
seeing her and you with this hallowed light about you, I
have forborne, and forborne, as long as it was 'in the na-
ture'of man to do it. I have felt, and do even now fee!,
that to bring my love — even mine — between you, is to
touch your history with something not quite so good as
itself. But I love her. Heaven is my witness that I
love her 1 "
" I believe it," answered her father, mournfully. " I
have thought so, before now. I believe it."
" But, do not believe," said Darnay, upon whose ear
the mournful voice struck with a reproachful sound, " that
if my fortune were so cast as that, being one day so
happy as to make her my wife, I must at any time put
any separation between her and you, I could or would
breathe a word of what I now say. Besides that I
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 181
should know it to be hopeless, I should know it to be a
baseness. If I had any such possibility, even at a re-
mote distance of years, harbored in my thoughts and
hidden in my heart — if it ever had been there — if it
ever could be there — I could not now touch this hon-
He laid his own upon it as he spoke.
" No, dear Doctor Manette. Like you, a voluntary
exile from France; like you, driven from it by its dis-
tractions, oppressions, and miseries ; like you, striving
to live away from it by my own exertions, and trusting
in a happier future ; I look only to sharing your fortunes,
sharing your life and home, and being faithful to you
to the- death. Not to divide with Lucie her privilege
as your child, companion, and friend ; but to come in
aid of it, and bind her closer to you, if such a thing
His touch still lingered on her father's hand. An-
swering the touch for a moment, but not coldly, her
father rested his hands upon the arms of his chair, and
looked up for the first time since the beginning of the
conference. A struggle was evident in his face ; a strug-
gle with that occasional look which had a tendency in it
to dark doubt and dread.
"You speak so feelingly and so manfully, Charles
Darnay, that I thank you with all my heart, and will
open all my heart — or nearly so. Have you any rea-
son to believe that Lucie loves you."
" None. As yet, none."
" Is it the immediate object of this confidence, that
you may at once ascertain that, with my knowledge ? "
'' Not even so. I might not have the hopefulness to
182 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
do it for weeks; I might (mistaken or not mistaken)
have that hopefulness to-morrow-"
" Do you seek any guidance from me ? "
"I ask none, sir. But I have thought it possible
that yon might have it in your power, if yon should
deem it right, to give me some."
" Do yon seek any promise from me?"
" I do seek that"
"What is it?"
" I well understand that, without you, I could have
no hope. I well understand that, even if Miss Manette
held meat this moment in her innocent heart — do not
think I have the presumption to assume bo much — I
could retain no place in it against her love for her
" If that be so, do you see what, on the other hand,
is involved in it ? "
" I understand equally well, that a word from hei
lather in any suitor's favor, would outweigh herself and
all the world. For which reason, Dr. Manette," said
Damay, modestly but firmly, " I would not ask that
word, to save my life."
" I am sure of it. Charles Darnay, mysteries arise
out of close love, as well as out of wide division ; in the
former case, they are subtile and delicate, and difficult
to penetrate. My daughter Lucie is, in this one respect,
such a mystery to me ; I can make no guess at the state
of her heart."
"May I ask, sir, if you think she is"— ■■ As he
hesitated, ber father supplied the rest
" Is sought by any other suitor ? "
" It is what I meant to say."
Her father considered a little before he answered,—
A TALE OP TWO CITIES. 183
"You have Been Mr. Carton here, yourself. Mr.
Stryver is here too, occasionally. If it be at all, it can
only be by one of these."
" Or both," said Darnay.
" I had not thought of both ; I should not think either,
likely. You want a promise from me. Tell me what
" It is, that if Miss Manette should bring to you at
any time, on her own part, such a confidence as I have
ventured to lay before you, you will bear testimony to
what I have said, and to yonr belief in it. I hope you
may be able to think bo well of me, as to urge no in-
fluence against me. I say nothing more of my stake
in this; that is what I ask. The condition on which
I ask it, and which you have an undoubted right to re*
quire, I will observe immediately."
" I give the promise," said the Doctor, " without any
condition. I believe your object to be, purely and truth-
fully, as you have staled it I believe yonr intention
is to perpetuate, and not to weaken, the ties between me
and my other and &r dearer self. If she should ever
tell me that you are essential to her perfect happiness,
I will give her to you. If there were — Charles Dar-
nay, if there were "
The young man had taken his hand gratefully ; their
hands were joined as the Doctor spoke :
— " any fancies, any reasons, any apprehensions, any-
thing whatsoever, new or old, against the man she really
loved — the direct responsibility thereof not lying on
his head — they should all be obliterated for her sake.
She is everything to me; more to me than suffering,
more to me than wrong, more to me Well ! This
is idle talk."
184 X TALE OF TWO CITIE3.
So strange was the way in which he faded into silence,
and so strange his fixed look when he bad ceased to
speak, that Darnay felt his own hand turn cold in die
hand that slowly released aod dropped it.
"You said something to me," said Doctor Manette,
breaking into a smile. " What was it you said to me ? "
He waa at a loss how to answer, until he remembered
having spoken of a condition. Relieved as his mind re-
verted to that, he answered, —
"Tour confidence in me onght to be returned with
full confidence on my part. My present name, though
but slightly changed from my mothers, is not, as yon
will remember, my own. I wish to tell you what that
is, and why I am in England."
" Stop ! " said the Doctor of Beauvais.
" I wish it, that I may the better deserve yonr confi-
dence, and have no secret from you."
For an instant, the Doctor even had his two hands at
bis ears ; for another instant, even had his two hands
laid on Darnay's lips.
"Tell me when I ask you, not now. If your suit
should prosper, if Lucie should love you, yon shall tell
me on your marriage morning. Do you promise?"
" Give me your hand. She will be home directly,
and it is better she should not see us together to-night.
Go ! God bless you ! "
It was dark when Charles Darnay left him, and it was
an hour later and darker when Lucie came home ; she
hurried into the room alone — for Miss Press had gone
straight up-stairs — and was surprised to find his read-
ing chair empty.
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 185
" My father I " she called to him. " Father dear I "
Nothing was said in answer, but she heard a low ham-
mering sound in his bedroom. Passing lightly across
the intermediate room, she looked in at bid door and
came running back frightened, crying to herself, with
her blood all chilled, "What shall I do! What shall
Her uncertainty lasted but a moment; she hurried
back, and tapped at his door, and softly called to him.
The noise ceased at the sound of ber voice, and he
presently came out to her, and they walked up and
down together for a long time.
She came down from her bed, to look at him in his
sleep that night. He slept heavily, and his tray of shoe-
making tools, and his old unfinished work, were all as
A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
I COMPANION PICTURE.
" Sydney," said Mr. Stryver, on that self-same night,
or morning, to his jackal ; * mix another bowl of punch ;
I have something to say to you."
Sydney had been working double (ides that night, and
the night before, and the night before that, and a good
many nights in succession, making a grand clearance
among Mr. Stryver's papers before the setting in of the
long vacation. The clearance was effected at last ; the
Stryver arrears were handsomely fetched up; every
thing was got rid of, until November should come with
its fogs atmospheric and fogs legal, and bring grist to
the mill again.
Sydney was none the livelier and none the soberer
for so much application. It had takes a deal of extra
wet-towelling to pull him through the night; a corre-
spondingly extra quantity of wine had preceded the tow-
elling ; and he was in a very damaged condition, as he
now pulled his turban off and threw it into the basin in
which be had steeped it at intervals for the last six
" Are yon mixing that other bowl of punch ? " said
Stryver the portly, with his hands in his waistband,
glancing round from the sofa where he lay on his
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 187
" Now, look here ! I am going to tell you something
that will rather surprise you, and that perhaps will make
you think me not quite as shrewd as you usually do
think me. I intend to marry."
" Do you ? "
" Tes. And not for money. What do you say now ? "
" I don't feel disposed to say much. Who is she ? "
" Do I know her ? "
" I am not going to guess, at fire o'clock in the morn-
ing, with my brains frying and sputtering in my head.
If you want me to guess, you must ask me to dinner."
"Well then, 111 tell you," said Stryver, coming slow-
ly into a sitiing posture. " Sydney, I rather despair of
making myself intelligible to you, because you are such
an insensible dog."
"And you," returned Sydney, bnsy concocting the
punch, "are such a sensitive and poetical spirit."
u Come I " rejoined Stryver, laughing boastfully,
"though I don't prefer any claim to being the soul
of Romance (for I hope I know better), still, I am a
tenderer sort of fellow than you."
" You are a luckier, if you mean that."
" I doi'.t mean that. I mean, I am a man of more
" Say gallantry, while you are about it," suggested
" Well ! I'll say gallantry. My meaning is that, I am
a man," said Stryrer, inflating himself at his friend as
be made the punch, " who cares more to be agreeable,
who takes more pains to be agreeable, who knows bet-
188 A. TALE OF TWO CITIES.
ter how to be agreeable, in a woman's society, than you
" Go on," said Sydney Carton.
"No ; but before I go on," said Stryver, shaking his
bead in his bullying way, " Til have this oat with you.
You have been at Doctor Manette's house as much as I
have, or more than I have. Why, I have been ashamed
of your moroseness there 1 Your manners have been, of
that silent and sullen and hang-dog kind, that, upon
my life and soul, I have been ashamed of you, Syd-
" It should be very beneficial to a man in your prac-
tice at the bar, to be ashamed of anything," returned
Sydney; "you ought to be much obliged to me."
" You shall not get off in that way," rejoined Stryver,
shouldering the rejoinder at him ; " no, Sydney, ifs my
duty to tell you — and I tell you to your face to do you
good — that you are a de-vilish ill-conditioned fellow in
that sort of society. You are a disagreeable fellow."
Sydney drank a bumper of the punch he had made,
"Look at mel" said Stryver, squaring himself; "I
have less need to make myself agreeable than you have,
being more independent in circumstances. Why do I
do it ? "
" I never saw you do it yet," muttered Carton.
" I do it because it's politic ; I do it on principle. And
look at me ! I get on."
™ You don't get on with your account of your matri-
monial intentions," answered Carton, with a careless air,
" I wish you would keep to that As to me — will you
never understand that I am incorrigible ? "
He asked the question with some appearance of scorn .
A TALE OP TWO CITIES. 189
"You have no business to be incorrigible," was his
friend's answer, delivered in no very soothing tone.
"I have no business to be, at all, that I know of," said
Sydney Carton. " Who is the lady ? "
" Now, don't let my announcement of the name make
you uncomfortable, Sydney," said Mr. Stryver, preparing
him with ostentatious friendliness for the disclosure he
was about to make, "because I know you don't mean
half you say ; and if you meant it all, it would be of no
importance. I make this little preface, because you once
mentioned the young lady to me in slighting terms."
" I did ? "
" Certainly ; and in these chambers."
Sydney Carton looked at his punch and looked nt his
complacent friend ; drank his punch and looked at his
" Tou made mention of the young lady as a golden*
haired doll. The young lady is Miss Manette. If you
had been a fellow of any sensitiveness or delicacy of feeling
in that kind of way, Sydney, I might have been a little
resentful of your employing such a designation ; but you
are not Tou want that sense altogether; therefore, I
am no more annoyed when I think of the expression,
than I should be annoyed by a man's opinion of a picture
of mine, who had no eye for pictures ; or of a piece of
music of mine, who had no ear for music."
Sydney Carton drank the punch at a great rate ; drank
it by bumpers, looking at hia friend.
" Now you know all about it, Syd," said Mr. Stryver.
" I don't care about fortune ; she is a charming creature,
and I have made up my mind to please myself; on the
whole, I think I can afford to please myself. She will
have in me a man already pretty well off, and a rapidly
190 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
rising man, and a man of some distinction ; it is a piece
of good fortune for her, but she is worthy of good for-
tune. Are you astonished ? "
Carton, still drinking the punch, rejoined, " Why should
I be astonished ? *
" Tou approve ? "
Carton, still drinking the punch, rejoined, " Why should
I not approve ? "
" Well I " said his friend Stryver, " you take to it mora
easily than I fancied you would, and are leas mercenary
on my behalf than I thought you would be ; though, to
be sure, you know well enough by this time that your
ancient chum is a man of a pretty strong will. Yes, Syd-
ney, I have had enough of this style of life, with no
other as a change from it; I feel that it is a pleasant
thing for a man to have a home when he feels inclined
to go to it (when he doesn't, he can stay away), and I
feel that Miss Manetie will tell well in any station, and
will always do me credit. So I have made up my mind.
And now, Sydney, old boy, I want to say a word to you
about your prospects. You are in a bad way, you know ;
you really are in a bad way. You don't know the value
of money, you live hard, you'll knock np one of these
days, and be ill and poor ; you really ought to think about
The prosperous patronage with which he said it, made
him look twice as big as he was, and four times as offen-
" Now, let me recommend you," pursued Stryver, " to
look it in the face. I have looked it in the face, in my
different way ; look it in the face, you, in your different
way. Marry. Provide somebody to take care of yon.
Never mind your having no enjoyment of women's so-
A TALE OP TWO CITIES, 191
ciety, nor understanding of it, nor tact for it Find out
somebody. Find out some respectable woman with a
little property — somebody in the landlady way, or lodg-
ing-letting way — and marry her, against a rainy day.
That's the kind of thing for you. Now, think, of it, Syd-
« I'll think of it," said Sydney.
A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
THE FELLOW OF DELICACY.
Mb. Strtvek having made up his mind to that mag-
nanimous bestowal of good fortune on the doctor's daugh-
ter, resolved to make her happiness known to her before
he left town for the Long Vacation. After some mental
debating of the point, he came to the conclusion that it
would be as well to get all the preliminaries done with,
and they could then arrange at their leisure whether he
should give her his hand a week or two before Michael-
mas Term, or in the little Christmas vacation between it
As to the strength of bis case, be bad not a doubt about
it, but clearly saw his way to the verdict. Argued with
the jury on substantial worldly grounds — the only
grounds ever worth taking into account — it was a plain
case, and bad not a weak spot in it. He called himself
for the plaintiff, there was no getting over his evidence,
the counsel for the defendant threw up his brief, and the
jury did not even turn to consider. After trying it,
Stry ver C. J. was satisfied that no plainer case could be.
Accordingly, Mr. Stryver inaugurated the Long Va-
cation with a formal proposal to take Miss Manette to
Vauxhall Gardens ; that failing, to Banelagh ; that un-
accountably failing too, it behooved him to present himself
in Solio, and there declare his noble mind.
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 193
Towards Soho, therefore, Mr. Stryver shouldered his
way from the Temple, while the bloom of the Long Va-
cation's infancy was still upon it- Anybody who had
seen him projecting himself into Sobo while he was yet
on Saint Dunstan's aide of Temple Bar, bursting in bis
full-blown way along the pavement, to the jostlement of
all weaker people, might have seen how safe and strong
His way taking him past Tellson's, and he both bank-
ing at Tellson's and knowing Mr. Lorry as the intimate
friend of the Manettes, it entered Mr. Stryver' 5 mind to
enter the bank, and reveal to Mr. Lorry the brightness
of the Sobo horizon. So, he pushed open the door with
the weak rattle in its throat, stumbled down the two steps,
got past the two ancient cashiers, and shouldered him-
self into the musty back closet where Mr. Lorry sat at
great books ruled for figures, with perpendicular iron
bars to his window as if that were ruled for figures too,
and everything under the clouds were a sum.
" Halloa ! " said Mr. Stryver. " How do you do ? I
hope you are well 1 "
It was Stryver's grand peculiarity that he always
seemed too big for any place, or space. He was so
much too big for Tellson's that old clerks in distant cor-
ners looked up with looks of remonstrance, as though be
squeezed them against the walL The House itself, mag-
nificently reading the paper quite in the far-off perspec-
tive, lowered displeased, as if the Stryver head had been
butted into its responsible waistcoat
The discreet Mr. Lorry said, in a sample tone of the
voice he would recommend under the circumstances,
" How do you do, Mr. Stryver ? How do you do, sir ? "
and shook hands. There was a peculiarity in his man-
194 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
ner of shaking hands, always to be seen in any clerk at
Tellson's who shook hands with a customer when the
House pervaded the air. He shook in a self-abnegating
way, as one who shook for Tell son and Co.
"Can I do anything for you, Mr. Stryver?" asked
Mr. Lorry, in his business character.
" Why, no thank you ; this is a private visit to your-
self, Mr. Lorry ; I have come for a private word."
" Oh, indeed ! " said Mr. Lorry, bending down his ear,
while his eye strayed to the House afar off.
"lam going," said Mr. Stryver, leaning his arms con-
fidentially on the desk ; whereupon, although it was a
large double one, there appeared to be not half desk
enough for him : " I am going to make an offer of myself
in marriage to your agreeable little friend Miss Manette,
" Oh, dear me I " cried Mr. Lorry, rubbing bis chin,
and looking at his visitor dubiously.
" Oh, dear me, sir ? " repeated Stryver, drawing back.
" Oh, dear you, sir ? What may your meaning be, Mr.
" My meaning ? " answered the man of business, " is,
of course, friendly and appreciative, and that it does you
the greatest credit, and — in short, my meaning is every-
thing you could desire. But — really, you know, Mr.
Stryver " Mr. Lorry paused, and shook his bead
at him in the oddest manner, as if he were compelled
against his will to add, internally, " you know there really
is so much too much of you I"
" Well ! " said Stryver, slapping the desk with his
contentious band, opening his eyes wider, and taking a
long breath, " if I understand you, Mr. Lorry, I'll be
A. TALE OP TWO CITIES. 195
Mr. Lorry adjusted his little wig at both ears as a
means towards that end, and bit the feather of a pen.
" D — n it alt, sir ! " said Stryver, staring at him,
"am I not eligible?"
" Oh, dear, yes ! Yes. Oh, yes, you're eligible ! ™ said
Mr. Lorry. " If you say eligible, you are eligible."
" Am I not prosperous ? " asked Stryver.
" Oh ! if you come to prosperous, you are prosperous,"
said Mr. Lorry.
" And advancing ? "
"If you come to advancing, you know," said Mr.
Lorry, delighted to be able to make another admission,
" nobody can doubt that."
" Then what on earth is your meaning, Mr. Lorry ? "
demanded Stryver, perceptibly crestfallen.
" Well ! I Were you going there now ? " asked
" Straight I " said Stryver, with a plump of his fist on
"Then I think I wouldn't, if I was you."
" Why ? " said Stryver. " Now, I'll put you in a cor-
ner," forensically shaking a forefinger at him. " Ton are
a man of business and bound to have a 'reason. State
your reason. Why wouldn't you go ? "
" Because," said Mr. Lorry, " I wouldn't go on such
an object without having some cause to believe that I
" D — n me ! " cried Stryver, " but this beats every-
Mr. Lorry glanced at the distant House, and glanced
at the angry Stryver.
" Here's a man of business — a man of years — a man
of experience — tn a Bank " said Stryver ; " and having
196 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
summed up three leading reasons for complete success,
he says there's no reason at all ! Says it with his head
on 1 " Mr. Stryver remarked upon the peculiarity as if
it would hare been infinitely less remarkable if he had
said it with his head off.
" When I speak of success, I speak of success with the
young lady ; and when I speak of causes and reasons to
make success probable, I speak of causes and reasons
that will tell as such with the young lady. The young
lady, my good sir," said Mr. Lorry, mildly tapping the
Stryver arm, "the yonng lady. The young lady goes
" Then you mean to tell me, Mr. Lorry," said Stryver,
squaring his elbows, " that it is your deliberate opinion
that the young lady at present in question is a mincing
Fool ? "
" Not exactly so. I mean to tell you, Mr. Stryver,"
said Mr. Lorry, reddening, " that I will hear no disre-
spectful word of that young lady from any lips ; and that
if I knew any man — which I hope I do not — whose
taste was so coarse, and whose temper was so overbear-
ing, that he could not restrain himself from speaking
disrespectfully of that young lady at this desk, not even
Tellson's should prevent my giving him a piece of my
The necessity of being angry in a suppressed tone had
put Mr. Stryver's blood-vessels into a dangerous state
when it was his turn to be angry; Mr. Lorry's veins,
methodical as their courses could usually be, were in no
better state now it was his turn.
" That is what I mean to tell you, bit," said Mr. Lorry.
" Pray let there be no mistake about it."
Mr. Stryver sucked the end of a ruler for a little
A TALE OF TWO CITTEa. 197
while, and then stood hitting a tune out of his teeth with
it, which probably gave him the toothache. He broke
the awkward silence by saying, —
" This is something new to me, Mr. Lorry. You de-
liberately advise me not to go up to Soho and offer
myself — myself, Stryver of the King's Bench bar ? "
" Do you ask me for my advice, Mr. Stryver ? "
" Yes, I do,"
" Yery good. Then I give it, and you have repeated
" And all I can say of it, is," laughed Stryver with a
vexed laugh, " that this — ha, ha ! — beats everything,
past, present, and to come."
" Now understand me," pursued Mr. Lorry. " As a
man of business, I am not justified in saying anything
about this matter, for, as a man of business, I know
nothing of it. But, as an old fellow, who has carried
Miss Manette in his arms, who is the trusted friend of
Miss Manette and of her father too, and who has a great
affection for them both, I have spoken. The confidence
is not of my seeking, recollect Now, you think'I may
not be right?"
" Not 1 1 " said Stryver, whistling. " I can't under-
take to find third parties in common sense ; I can only
find it for myself. I suppose sense in certain quarters ;
you suppose mincing bread-and-butter nonsense. It's
new to me, but you are rigljt, I dare say."
" What I suppose, Mr. Stryver, I claim to character-
ize for myself. And understand me, sir," said Mr. Lorry,
quickly flushing again. " I will not — not even at Tell-
son's — have it characterized for me by any gentleman
" There ! I beg your pardon ! " said Stryver.
198 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
"Granted. Thank yon. Well, Mr. Stryver, I was
about to say : — it might be painful to you to find your-
self mistaken, it might be painful to Doctor Manette to
have the task of being explicit with you, it might be
very painful to Miss Manette to have the task of being
explicit with you. You know the terms upon which I
have the honor and happiness to stand with the family.
If you please, committing yon in no way, representing
you in no way, I will undertake to correct my advice by
the exercise of a little new observation and judgment
expressly brought to bear upon it. If you should .then
be dissatisfied with it, you can but test its soundness for
yourself; if, on the other hand, you should be satisfied
with it, and it should be what it now is, it may spare all
sides what is best spared. What do yon say?"
" How long would you keep me in town ? "
" Oh ! It is only a question of a few hours. I could
go to Soho this evening, and come to your chambers
" Then I say, yes," said Stryver : " I won't go up there
now, I am not so hot upon it as that comes to; I say
yes, and I shall expect you to look in to-night. Good-
Then Mr. Stryver turned and burst out of the Bank,
causing such a concussion of air on his passage through,
that to stand up against it bowing behind the two count-
ers, required the utmost remaining strength of the two
ancient clerks. Those venerable and feeble persons were
always seen by the public in the act of bowing, and were
popularly believed, when they had bowed a customer out,
still to keep on bowing in the empty office until they
bowed another customer in.
The barrister was keen enough to divine that the
A TALE OP TWO CITIES. 199
banker would not have gone so far in bis expression
of opinion on any less solid ground than moral certainty.
Unprepared as he was for the large pill he bad to swal-
low, be got it down. " And now," said Mr. Stryver,
shaking his forensic forefinger at the Temple in general,
when it was down, " my way out of this, is, to put you
all in the wrong."
It was a bit of the art of an Old Bailey tactician, in
which he found great relief. " You shall not put me in
the wrong, young lady," said Mr. Stryver ; " I'll do that
Accordingly, when Mr. Lorry called that night as late
as ten o'clock, Mr. Stryver, among a quantity of books
and papers littered out for the purpose, seemed to have
nothing less on his mind than the subject of the morning.
He even showed surprise when he saw Mr. Lorry, and
was altogether in an absent and preoccupied state.
" Well ! " said that good-natured emissary, after a full
half-hour of bootless attempts to bring him round to the
qnestion, " I have been to Soho."
" To Soho ? " repeated Mr. Stryver, coldly. " Ob, to
be sure ! What am I thinking of!"
"And I have no doubt," said Mr. Lorry, " that I was
right in the conversation we had. My opinion is con-
firmed, and I reiterate my advice."
" I assure you," returned Mr. Stryver, in the friend-
liest way, " that I am sorry for it on your account, and
sorry for it on the poor father's account. I know this
must always be a sore subject with the family ; let us
say no more about it."
" I don't understand you," said Mr. Lorry.
" I dare say not," rejoined Stryver, nodding bis head
200 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
in a smoothing and final way; "no matter, no mat-
" But it does matter," Mr. Lorry urged.
" Wo it doesn't ; I assure you it doesn't. Having sap-
posed that there was sense where there is no sense, and
a laudable ambition where there is not a laudable ambi-
tion, I am well out of my mistake, and no harm is done.
Young women have committed similar follies often be-
fore, and have repented tliein in poverty and obscurity
often before. In an unselfish aspect, I am sorry that the
thing has dropped, because it would have been a good
thing for others in a worldly point of view ; in a selfish
aspect, I am glad that the thing has dropped, because it
would have been a bad thing for me in a worldly point
of view — it is hardly necessary to say I could have
gained nothing by it. There is no harm at all done. I
have not proposed to the young lady, and, between our-
selves, I am by no means certain, on reflection, that I
ever should have committed myself to that extent. Mr.
Lorry, you cannot control the mincing vanities and gid-
dinesses of empty-headed girls; you must not expect to
do it, or you will always be disappointed. Now, pray
say do more about it. I tell you, I regret it on account
of others, but I am satisfied on my own account. And
I am really very much obliged to you for allowing me
to sound you, and for giving me your advice ; you know
the young lady better than I do ; you were right, it never
would have done."
Mr. Lorry was so taken aback, that he looked quite
stupidly at Mr. Stryver shouldering him towards the
door, with an appearance of showering generosity, for-
bearance, and good-will, on bis erring head. " Make the
A TALE OP TWO CITIES. 201
best of it, my dear sir " said Stryver ; " say no more
about it ; thank you again Tor allowing me to sound you ;
good-night ! "
Mr. Lorry was out in the night, before be knew where
he was. Mr. Stryver was lying back on his sofa, wink- ,
ing at his ceiling.
A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
THE MI.LOW OF MO DELICACY.
Ir Sydney Carton ever shone anywhere, he certainly
never shone in the house of Doctor Manet te. He had
been there often, during a whole year, and had always
been the same moody and morose lounger there. When
he cared to tali, he talked well ; but, the cloud of caring
for nothing, which overshadowed him with such a fatal
darkness, was very rarely pierced by the light within
And yet he did care something for the streets that
environed that house, and for the senseless stones that
made their pavements. Many a night he vaguely and
unhappily wandered there, when wine had brought no
transitory gladness to him; many a dreary daybreak
revealed his solitary figure lingering there, and still lin-
gering there when the first beams of the sun brought
into strong relief, removed beauties of architecture in
spires of churches and lofty buildings, as perhaps the
quiet time brought some sense of better things, else for-
gotten and unattainable, into his mind. Of late, the
neglected bed in the Temple court had known him more
scantily than ever ; and often when he had thrown him-
self upon it no longer than a few minutes, he had got up
again, and haunted that neighborhood.
On a day in August, when Mr. Stryver (after notify-
A TALE OP TWO CITIES. 203
itig to his jackal that " he had thought better of that
marrying matter") had carried his delicacy into Devon-
shire, and when the sight and scent of flowers in the
City streets had some waifs of goodness in them for the
worst, of health for the sickliest, and of yonth for the
oldest, Sydney's feet still trod those stones. From being
irresolute and purposeless his feet became animated by
an intention, and, in the working out of that intention,
they took him to the Doctor's door.
He was shown up-stairs, and found Lucie at her
work, alone. She had never been quite at her ease
with him, and received him with some little embarrass-
ment as he seated himself near her table. But, looking
up at his face in the interchange of the first few com-
monplaces, she observed a change in it.
" I fear yon are not well, Mr. Carton ! "
" No. But the life I lead, Miss Manette, is not con-
ducive to health. What is to be expected of, or by, such
profligates ? "
" Is it not — forgive me ; I have begun the question
on my lips — a pity to live no better life ? "
" God knows it is a shame ! "
" Then why not change it ? "
Looking gently at him again, she was surprised and
saddened to see that there were tears in his eyes. There
were tears in his voice too, as he answered :
" It is too late for that. I shall never be better than
I am. I shall sink lower, and be worse."
He leaned an elbow on her table, and covered his
eyes with his hand. The table trembled in the silence
She bad never seen him softened, and was much dis-
tressed. He knew her to be so, without looking at her,
204 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
" Pray forgive me, Miss Manetfc. I break down be-
fore the knowledge of what I want to say to you. Will
yon hear me ? "
" If it will do you any good. Mr. Carton, if it would
make you happier, it would make me very glad ! "
" God bless you for your sweet compassion I "
He unshaded bis face after a little while, and spoke
" Don't be afraid to hear me. Don't shrink from any-
thing I say. I am like one who died young. All my
life might have been."
" No, Mr. Carton. I am sure that the best part of it
might still be ; I am sure that you might be much, much,
worthier of yourself."
" Say of you, Miss Manette, and although I know
better — although in the mystery of my own wretched
heart I know better — I shall never forget it ! "
She was pale and trembling. He came to her relief
with a fixed despair of himself which made the interview
unlike any other that could have been holden.
" If it bad been possible, Miss Manette, that yon could
have returned the love of the man you see before you —
self-flung away, wasted, drunken, poor creature of misuse
as you know him to be — he would have been conscious
this day and hour, in spite of his happiness, that be
would bring you to misery, bring you to sorrow and
repentance, blight you, disgrace you, pull you down with
him. I know very well that you can have no tender-
ness for me ; I ask for none ; I am even thankful that
it cannot be."
" Without it, can I not save you, Mr. Carton ? Can
I not recall you — forgive me again ! — to a better course ?
Can I in no way repay your confidence ? I know this is
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 205
a confidence," she modestly said, after a little hesitation,
and in earnest tears, " I know you would say this to no
one else. Can I turn it to no good account for yourself,
Mr. Carton ? "
He shook his head.
" To none. No, Miss Manet te, to none. If you will
hear me through a very little more, all you can ever do
for me is done. I wish you to know that you have been
the last dream of my soul. In my degradation, I have
not been so degraded but that the sight of you with your
father, and of this home made such a home by you, has
stirred old shadows that I thought had died out of me.
Since I knew you, I have been troubled by a remorse
that I thought would never reproach me again, and have
heard whispers from old voices impelling me upward,
that I thought were silent forever. I have had unformed
ideas of striving afresh, beginning anew, shaking off sloth
and sensuality, and fighting out the abandoned fight. A
dream, all a dream, that ends in nothing, and leaves the
sleeper where he lay down, but I wish you to know that
you inspired it."
" Will nothing of it remain P Oh, Mr. Carton, think
again ! Try again ! "
" No, Miss Manette ; all through it, I have known
myself to be quite undeserving. And yet I have had
the weakness, and have still the weakness, to wish you
to know with what a sudden mastery you kindled me,
heap of ashes that I am, into fire — a fire, however
inseparable in its natnre from myself, quickening noth-
ing, lighting nothing, doing no service, idly burning
" Since it is my misfortune, Mr. Carton, to have made
you more unhappy than you were before you knew
206 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
" Don't say that, Miss Manette, for yon would have
reclaimed me, if anything could. You will not be the
cause of my becoming worse."
" Since the slate of your mind that you describe, is,
at all events, attributable to some influence of mine —
ttus is what I mean, if I can make it plain — can I use
no influence to serve you ? Have I no power for good,
with you, at all?" ,
" The utmost good that I am capable of now, Miss
Manette, I have come here to realize. Let me carry
through the rest of my misdirected life, the remembrance
that I opened my heart to you, last of all the world ; and
that there was something left in me at this time which
you could deplore and pity."
" Which I entreated you to believe, again and again,
most fervently, with all my heart, was capable of bet-
ter things, Mr. Carton ! "
"Entreat me to believe it no more, Miss Manette.
I have proved myself, and I know better. I distress
you ; 1 draw fast to an end. "Will you let me be-
lieve, when I recall this day, that the last confidence
of my life was reposed in your pure and innocent
breast, and that it lies there alone, and will be shared
by no one?"
" If that will be a consolation to you, yes."
"Not even by the dearest one ever to be known to
you ? "
" Mr. Carton," she answered, after an agitated pause,
" the secret is yours, not mine ; and I promise to re-
" Thank you. And again, God bless you ! "
He put her hand to his lips, and moved towards
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 207
"Be under no apprehension, Miss Manette, of my
ever resuming this conversation by so much as a pass-
ing word. I will never refer to it again. If I were
dead, that could not be surer than it is henceforth. In
the hour of my death, I shall hold sacred the one good
remembrance — and shall thank and bless you for it —
that my last avowal of myself was made to you, and
that my name, and faults, and miseries, were gently
carried in your heart. May it otherwise be light and
happy I "
He was so unlike what he had ever shown himself
to be, and it was so sad to think how much be had
thrown away, and how much he every day kept down
and perverted, that Lucie Manette wept mournfully for
him as he stood looking back at her.
« Be comforted ! " he said, " I am not worth such
feeling, Miss Manette. An hour or two hence, and
the low companions aad the low habits that I scorn
but yield to, will render me less worth such tears as
those, than any wretch who creeps along the streets.
Be comforted ! But, within myself I shall always be,
towards you, what I am now, though outwardly I shall
be what you have heretofore seen me. The last sup-
plication bat one I make to you, is, that you will be-
lieve this of me."
"I will, Mr. Carton."
" My last supplication of all, is this ; and with it,
I will relieve you of a visitor with whom I well know
you have nothing in unison, and between whom and
you there is an impassable space. It is useless to say
it, I know, but it rises out of my soul. For you, and
for any dear to you, I would do anything. If my
career were of that better kind that there was any
208 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
opportunity or capacity of sacrifice in it, I would em-
brace any sacrifice for yon and for those dear to yon.
Try to hold me in your mind, at gome quiet times, as
ardent and sincere in this one thing. The time will
come, the time will not be long in coming, when new
ties will be formed about you — ties that will bind
you yet more tenderly and strongly to the home you
so adorn — the dearest ties that will ever grace and
gladden you. O Miss Manette, when the little picture
of a happy father's face looks up in yours, when you
see your own bright beauty springing up anew at
your feet, think now and then that there is a man
who would give his life, to keep a life you lore be-
side you ! "
He said, " Farewell ! " said " A last God bless you ! "
and left her.
A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
THE HONEST TRADESMAN.
To the eyes of Mr. Jeremiah Cruncher, sitting on his
stool in Fleet-street with his grisly arch in beside him,
a vast number and variety of objects in movement were
every day presented. Who could sit upon anything in
Fleet^street during the busy hours of the day, and not
be dazed and deafened by two immense processions, one
ever tending westward with the sun, the other ever tend-
ing eastward from the sun, both ever tending to. the
plains beyond the range of red and purple where the sun
goes down I
With his straw in his mouth, Mr. Cruncher sat watch-
ing the two streams, like the heathen rustic who has for
several centuries been on duty watching one stream —
saving that Jerry had no expectation of their ever run-
ning dry. Nor would it have been an expectation of a
hopeful kind, since a small part of his income was de-
rived from the pilotage of timid women (mostly of a full
habit and past the middle term of life) from Tellson's
side of the tides to the opposite shore. Brief as such
companionship was in every separate instance, Mr.
Cruncher never failed to become so interested in the
lady as to express a strong desire to have the honor of
drinking her very good health. And it was from the
gifts bestowed upon him towards the execution of this
210 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
benevolent purpose, that he recruited his finances, as
juat dow observed.
Time was, when a poet sat upon a stool in a public
place, and mused in the sight of men. Mr. Cruncher,
pitting on a stool in a public place but not being a poet,
mused as little as possible, and looked about him.
It fell out that he was thus engaged in a season when
crowds were few, and belated women few, and when
his affairs in general were so unprosperous as to awaken
a strong suspicion in his breast that Mrs. Cruncher must
have been "flopping" in some pointed manner, when an
unusual concourse pouring down Fleet-street westward,
attracted his attention. Looking that way, Mr. Crunch-
er made out that some kind of funeral was coming along,
and that there was popular objection to this funeral,
which engendered uproar.
" Young Jerry," said Mr. Cruncher, turning to hia
offspring, " it's a buryin'."
" Hooroar, father ! " cried Young Jerry.
The young gentleman uttered this exnltant sound with
mysterious significance. The elder gentleman took the
cry so ill, that he watched his opportunity, and smote
the young gentleman on the ear.
" What d'ye mean ? What are you hooroaring at ?
What do you want to conwey to your own father, you
young Rip? This boy is a-getting too many for me I"
said Mr. Cruncher, surveying him. "Him and his hoo-
roars ! Don't let me hear no more of you, or you shall
feel some more of me. D'ye hear ? "
"I wara't doing no harm," Young Jerry protested,
rubbing his cheek.
" Drop it then," said Mr. Cruncher ; " I won't have
none of your no barms. Get atop of that there seat,
and look at the crowd."
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 211
His son obeyed, and the crowd approached ; they were
bawling and hissing round a dingy hearse and dingy
mourning coach, in which mourning coach there was
only one mourner, dressed in the dingy trappings that
were considered essential to the dignity of the position.
The position appeared by no means to please him, how-
ever, with an increasing rabble surrounding the coach,
deriding him, making grimaces at him, and incessantly
groaning and calling out : " Yah ! Spies ! Tst I Yaha I
Spies ! " with many compliments too numerous and for-
cible to repeat.
Funerals had at all times a remarkable attraction for
Mr. Cruncher; he always pricked up his senses, and
became excited, when a funeral passed Tellson's. Nat-
urally, therefore, a funeral with this uncommon attend-
ance excited him greatly, and be asked of the first man -
wbo ran against him :
" What is it, brother ? What's it about ? "
"1 don't know," said the man. " Spies ! Yaha ! Tst I
Spies ! ■
He asked another man. " Who is it ? "
"/don't know," returned the man, clapping his hands
to his mouth nevertheless, and vociferating in a surpris-
ing heat and with the greatest ardor, " Spies ! Yaha !
Tst, tst ! Spi-ies I "
At length, a person better informed on the merits of
the case, tumbled against him, and from this person be
learned that the funeral was the funeral of one Roger
" Was He a Bpy ? " asked Mr. Cruncher.
"Old Bailey spy," returned bis informant. "Yaha!
Tst! Yah! Old Bailey Spi-i-ies!"
" Why, to be sure I " exclaimed Jerry, recalling the
212 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
Trial at which he had assisted. " I've seen him. Dead,
" Dead as mutton," returned the other, " and can't
be too dead. Have 'em out, there ! Spies ! Pull 'em
out there ! Spies ! "
The idea was so acceptable in the prevalent absence
of any idea, that the crowd caught it up with eagerness,
and loudly repeating the suggestion to have 'em out,
and to pull 'em out, mobbed the two vehicles so closely
that they came to a stop. On the crowd's opening the
coach-doors, the one mourner scuffled out of himself and
was in their bands for a moment ; but he was so alert,
and made such good use of his time, that in another
moment he was scouring away up a by-street, after shed-
ding bis cloak, hat, long hatband, white pocket-hand-
kerchief, and other symbolical tears.
These, the people tore to pieces and scattered far and
wide with great enjoyment, while the tradesmen hur-
riedly shut up their shops ; for a crowd in those times
stopped at nothing, and was a monster much dreaded.
They had already got the length of opening the hearse to
take the coffin out, when some brighter genius proposed
instead, its being escorted to its destination amidst gen-
eral rejoicing. Practical suggestions being much need-
ed, this suggestion, too, was received with acclamation,
and the coach was immediately filled with eight inside
and a dozen out, while as many people got on the roof
of the hearse as could by any exercise of ingenuity stick
upon it. Among the first of these volunteers was Jerry
Cruncher himself, who modestly concealed bis spiky
head from the observation of Tellson's, in the farther
corner of the mourning coach.
The officiating undertakers made some protest against
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 218
these changes in the ceremonies; but, the river being
alarmingly near, and several voices remarking on the
efficacy of cold immersion in bringing refractory mem-
bers of the profession to reason, the protest was faint
and brief. The remodelled procession started, with a
chimney-sweep driving the hearse — advised by the
regular driver, who was perched beside him, nnder close
inspection, for the purpose — and with a pieman, also
attended by his cabinet minister, driving the mourning
coach. A bear-leader, a popular street character of the
time, was impressed as an additional ornament, before
the cavalcade had gone far down the Strand ; and his
bear, who was black and very mangy, gave quite an
Undertaking air to that part of the procession in which
Thus, with beer-drinking, pipe-smoking, song-roaring,
and infinite caricaturing of woe, the disorderly proces-
sion went its way, recruiting at every step, and all the
shops shutting up before it. Its destination was the old
church of Saint Pancras, far off in the fields. It' got
there in course of time ; insisted on pouring into the
burial-ground; finally, accomplished the interment of
the deceased Roger Cly in its own way, and highly to
its own satisfaction.
The dead man disposed of, and the crowd being nnder
the necessity of providing some other entertainment for
itself, another brighter genius (or perhaps the same) con-
ceived the humor of impeaching casual passers-by, as
Old Bailey spies, and wreaking vengeance on them.
Chase was given to some scores of inoffensive persons
who had never been near the Old Bailey in their lives,
in the realization of this fancy, and they were roughly
hustled and maltreated. The transition to the sport of
214 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
window breaking, and thence to the plundering of pub-
lic-houses, was easy and natural. At last, after several
hoars, when sundry summer-houses had been pulled
down, and some area railings had been torn up, to arm
the more belligerent spirits, a rumor got about that the
Guards were coming. Before this rumor, the crowd
gradually melted away, and perhaps the Guards came,
and perhaps they never came, and this was the usual
progress of a mob.
Mr. Cruncher did not assist at the closing sports, bat
had remained behind in the church-yard, to confer and
condole with the undertakers. The place had a sooth-
ing influence on him. He procured a pipe from a neigh-
boring public-house, and smoked if, looking in at the
railings and maturely considering the spot.
"Jerry," said Mr. Cruncher, apostrophizing himself
in his usual way, "you see that there Cly that day, and
you see with your own eyes that he was a young 'un
and a straight made 'un."
Having smoked his pipe out, and ruminated a little
longer, he turned himself about, that he might appear,
before the hour of closing, on his station at Tellson'e.
Whether his meditations on mortality had touched his
liver, or whether his general health had been previously
at all amiss, or whether he desired to show a little at-
tention to an eminent man, is not so much to the par-
pose, as that he made a short call upon his medical
adviser — a distinguished surgeon — on his way back.
Young Jerry relieved his father with dutiful interest,
and reported No job in his absence. The bank closed,
the ancient clerks came out, the usual watch was set,
and Mr. Cruncher and bis son went home to tea.
" Now, I tell you where it is ! " said Mr. Cruncher
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 215
to his wife, on entering. "If, as a honest tradesman,
my wenturs goes wrong to-night, I shall make sure that
you've been praying again me, and I shall work you for
it just the same as if I seen you do it."
The dejected Mrs. Cruncher shook her head.
" Why, you're at it afore my face ! " said Mr. Crunch-
er, with signs of angry apprehension.
" I am saying nothing."
" Well then ; don't meditate nothing. Tou might as
well flop as meditate. Tou may as well go again me
one way as another. Drop it altogether."
" Tea, Jerry."
" Tes, Jerry," repeated Mr. Cruncher, sitting down to
tea. " Ah 1 It is yes, Jerry. That's about it. Tou
may say, yes, Jerry."
Mr. Cruncher had no particular meaning in these
sulky corroborations, but made use of them, as people
not [infrequently do, to express general ironical dissatis-
" Tou and your yes, Jerry," said Mr. Cruncher, taking
a bite out of his bread and butter, and seeming to help it
down with a large invisible oyster out of his saucer.
"Ah! I think so. I believe yon."
"Tou are going out to-night?" asked his decent wife,
when he took another bite.
" Tes, I am."
" May I go with you, father ? " asked his son, briskly.
"No, you mayn't. I'm a-going — as your mother
knows — a-fishing. That's where I'm going to. Going
" Tour fishing-rod gets rayther rusty ; don't it, father ? "
" Never you mind."
" Shall you bring any fish home, father ? "
216 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
" If I don't, you'll have short commons to-morrow,"
returned that gentleman, shaking his head ; " that's ques-
tions enough for you ; I a'u't a-going out, till you've been
He devoted himself during the remainder of the even-
ing to keeping a most vigilant watch on Mrs. Cruncher,
and sullenly holding her in conversation that she might
be prevented from meditating any petitions to bis disad-
vantage. With this view, he urged his son to hold her
in conversation also, and led the unfortunate woman a
hard life by dwelling on any causes of complaint he could
bring against her, rather than he would leave her for a
moment to her own reflections. The devouteat person
could have rendered no greater homage to the efficacy
of an honest prayer than be did in this distrust of his
wife. It was as if a professed unbeliever in ghosts
should be frightened by a ghost story.
"And mind you!" said Mr. Cruncher. "No games
to-morrow ! If I, as a honest tradesman, succeed in pro-
viding a jinte of meat or two, none of your not touching
of it, and sticking to bread. If I, as a honest tradesman,
am ahle to provide a little beer, none of your declaring
on water. When you go to Rome, do as Some does.
Borne will be a ugly customer to you, if you don't, /m
your Borne, you know."
Then he began grumbling again :
" With your flying into the face of your own witlles
and drink ! I don't know how scarce yon mayn't make
the wittles and drink here, by your flopping tricks and
your unfeeling conduct. Look at your boy ; he it your'n,
a'n't he ? He's as thin as a lath. Do' you call yourself
a mother, and not know that a mother's first duty is to
blow her boy out ? "'
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 217
This touched Young Jerry on a tender place ; who ad-
jured his mother to perform her first duty, and, whatever
else she did or neglected, above all things to lay especial
stress on the discharge of that maternal function so affect-
ingly and delicately indicated by his other parent
Thus the evening wore aivay with the Cruncher family,
until Young Jerry was ordered to bed, and his mother,
laid under similar injunctions, obeyed them. Mr. Crun-
cher beguiled the earlier watches of the night with soli-
tary pipes, and did not start upon his excursion until
nearly one o'clock. Towards that small and ghostly hour,
he rose up from his chair, took a key out of his pocket,
opened a locked cupboard, and brought forth a sack, a
crowbar of convenient size, a rope and chain, and other
fishing-tackle of that nature. Disposing these articles
about him in a skilful manner, he bestowed a parting
defiance on Mrs. Cruncher, extinguished the light, and
Young Jerry, who had only made a feint of undressing
when he went to bed, was not long after his father. Un-
der cover of the darkness, he followed out of the room,
followed down the stairs, followed down the court, fol-
lowed out into the streets. He was in no uneasiness
concerning his getting into the house again, for it was
full of lodgers, and the door stood ajar all night.
Impelled by a laudable ambition to study the art and
myBtery of his father's honest calling, Young Jerry,
keeping as close to house-fronts, walls, and door-ways, as
his eyes were close to one another, held bis honored
parent in view. The honored parent steering North-
ward, had not gone far, when he was joined by another
disciple of Izaak Walton, and the two trudged on to-
218 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
Within half an hour from the first starting, they were
beyond the winking lamps, and the more than winking
watchmen, and were out upon a lonely road. Another
fisherman was picked up here — and that so silently,
(hat if Young Jerry had been superstitious, he might
have supposed the second follower of the gentle craft to
have, all of a sudden, split himself into two.
The three went on, and Young Jerry went on, until
the three stopped under a bank overhanging the road.
Upon the top of the bank was a low brick wall sur-
mounted by an iron railing. In the shadow of bank and
wall, the three turned out of the road, and up a blind
lane, of which the wall — there, risen to some eight or
ten feet high — formed one side. Crouching down in a
corner, peeping up the lane, the next object that Young
Jerry saw, was the form of his honored parent, pretty
well defined against a watery and clouded moon, nimbly
scaling an iron gate. He was soon over, and then the
second fisherman got over, and then the third. They all
dropped softly on the ground within the gate, and lay
there a little — listening perhaps. Then, they moved
away on their hands and knees.
It was now Young Jerry's turn to approach the gate :
which he did, holding his breath. Crouching down again
in a corner there, and looking in, he made out the three
fishermen creeping through some rank grass ; and all the
gravestones in the church-yard — it was a large church-
yard that they were in — looking on like ghosts in white,
while the church lower itself looked on like the ghost of
a monstrous giant. They did not creep far, before they
stopped and stood upright And then they began to
They fished with a spade, at first. Presently the hon-
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 219
ored parent appeared to be adjusting some instrument
like a great corkscrew. Whatever tools they worked
with, thej worked hard, until the awful striking of the
church clock so terrified Young Jerry, that he made off,
with bis hair as stiff as his father's.
But, his long-cherished desire to know more about
these matters, not only stopped him in his running away,
but lured him back again. They were still fishing perse-
reringly, when be peeped in at the gate for the second
time ; but, now they seemed to have got a bite. There
was a screwing and complaining sound down below, and
their bent figures were strained, as if by a weight. By
slow degrees the weight broke away the earth upon it,
and came to the surface. Young Jerry very well knew
what it would be ; but, when he saw it, and saw his hon-
ored parent about to wrench it open, he was so fright-
tened, being new to the sight, that he made off again, and
never stopped until he had run a mile or more.
He would not have stopped then, for anything less
necessary than breath, it being a spectral sort of race
that he ran, and one highly desirable to get to the end
of. He bad a strong idea that the coffin he had seen
was running after him ; and, pictured as hopping on be-
hind him, bolt upright upon its narrow end, always on
the point of overtaking him and hopping on at his side —
perhaps taking his arm — it was a pursuer to shun. It
was an inconsistent and ubiquitous fiend too, for, while it
was making the whole night behind him dreadful, he
darted out into the road-way to avoid dark alleys, fearful
of its coming hopping out of them like a dropsical boy's-
Kite without tail and wings. It hid in door-ways too,
rubbing its horrible shoulders against doors, and drawing
them up to its ears, as if it were laughing. It got into
220 A TALE OF TWO CITIE3.
shadows on the road, and lay cunningly on its back to
trip him up. All this time, it was incessantly hopping
on -behind and gaining on him, so that when the boy got
to his own door he bad reason for being half dead. And
even then it would not leave him, but followed him up-
stairs with a bump on every stair, scrambled into bed
with him, and bumped down, dead and heavy, on his
breast when he fell asleep.
From his oppressed slumber, Young Jerry in bis closet
was awakened, after daybreak and before sunrise, by the
presence of his father in the family room. Something
had gone wrong with him ; at least, so Toung Jerry in-
ferred, from the circumstance of his holding Mrs. Crun-
cher by the ears, and knocking the back of her head
against the headboard of the bed.
"I told yon I would," said Mr. Cruncher, "and I
" Jerry, Jerry, Jerry ! " his wife implored.
"You oppose yourself to the profit of the business,"
said Jerry, " and me and my partners suffer. You was
to honor and obey ; why the devil don't you ? "
• " I try to be a good wife, Jerry," the poor woman pro-
tested, with tears.
" Is it being a good wife to oppose your husband's
business ? Is it honoring your husband to dishonor his
business ? Is it obeying your husband to disobey him
on the wital subject of his business?"
"You hadn't taken to the dreadful business then,
" It's enough for you," retorted Mr. Cruncher, " to be
the wife of a honest tradesman, and not to occupy your
female mind with calculations when he took to his trade
or when he didn't, A honoring and obeying wife- would
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 221
let his trade alone altogether. Call yourself a religious
woman ? If you're a religious woman, give me a irrelig-
ious one ! Ton have no more nat'ral sense of duty than
the bed of this here Thames River has of a pile, and sim-
ilarly it must be knocked into you."
The altercation was conducted in a low tone of voice,
and terminated in (he honest tradesman's kicking off his
clay-soiled boots, and lying down at his length on the
floor. After taking a timid peep at him lying on his
back, with his rusty hands under his head for a pillow,
his son lay down too, and fell asleep again.
There was no fish for breakfast, and not much of any-
thing else. Mr. Cruncher was out of spirits, and out of
temper, and kept an iron pot-lid by him as a projectile
for the correction of Mrs. Cruncher, in case he should
observe any symptoms of her saying Grace. He was
brushed and washed at the usual hour, and set off with
his son to pursue his ostensible calling.
Young Jerry, walking with the stool under his arm
at his father's side along sunny and crowded Fleet-street,
was a very different Young Jerry from him of the pre-
vious night, running home through darkness and solitude
from his grim pursuer. His cunning was fresh with
the day, and his qualms were gone with the night — in
which particulars it is not improbable that he had com-
peers in Fleet-street and the City of London, that fine
" Father," said Young Jerry, as they walked along :
taking care to keep at arm's length and to have the stool
well between them : " what's a Resurrect ion -Man ? "
Mr. Cruncher came to a stop on the pavement before
he answered, " How should I know ? "
" I thought you knowed everything, father," said the
222 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
" Hem I Well," returned Mr. Cruncher, going on
again, and lifting off his hat to give his spikes free play,
" he's a tradesman."
" What's his goods, father ? " asked the brisk Young
" His goods," said Mr. Cruncher, after turning it over
in his mind, " is a branch of Scientific goods."
" Persons' bodies, a'n't it, father ? " asked the lively
" I believe it is somethink of that sort," said Mr.
" Oh, father, I should so like to be a Resurrection -
Man when Fm quite growed up I "
Mr. Cruncher was soothed, but shook his head in a
dubious and moral way. " It depends upon how you
dewelop your talents. Be careful to dewelop your tal-
ents, and never to say no more than you can help to no-
body, and there's no telling at the present time what you
may not come to be fit for." As Young Jerry, tbus
encouraged, went on a few yards in advance, to plant
the stool in the shadow of the Bar, Mr. Cruncher added
to himself: "Jerry, you honest tradesman, there's hopes
wot that hoy will yet be a blessing to you, and a recom-
pense to you for his mother ! "
A TALE OF Tyo CITIES.
There had been earlier drinking than usual in the
wine-shop of Monsieur Defarge. As early as sis o'clock
in the morning, sallow faces peeping through its barred
windows had descried other faces within, bending over
measures of wine. Monsieur Defarge sold a very thin
wine at the best of times, but it would seem to have
been an unusually thin wine that he sold at this time.
A soar wine, moreover, or a souring, for its influence on
the mood of those who drank it was to make them
gloomy. No vivacious Bacchanalian flame leaped out
of the pressed grape of Monsieur Defarge; but a
smouldering fire that burnt in the dark, lay hidden in
the dregs of it.
This had been the third morning in succession, on
which there had been early drinking at the wine-shop of
Monsieur Defarge. It had begun on Monday, and here
was Wednesday come. There had been more of early
brooding than drinking; for many men had listened and
whispered and slunk about there from the time of the
opening of the door, who could not have laid a piece of
money on the counter to save their souls. These were
to the full as interested in the place, however, as if they
could have commanded whole barrels of wine ; and they
glided from seat to seat, and from comer to corner,
swallowing talk in lieu of drink, with greedy looks.
224 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
Notwithstanding an unusual flow of company, the
master of the wine-shop was not visible. He was not
missed ; for nobody who crossed the threshold looked
for him, nobody asked for him, nobody wondered to see
only Madame Defarge in her seat, presiding over the
distribution of wine, with a bowl of battered small coins
before her, aa much defaced and beaten out of their orig-
inal impress as the small coinage of humanity from
whose ragged pockets they had come.
A suspended interest and a prevalent absence of mind
were perhaps observed by the spies who looked in at the
wine-shop, as they looked in at every place, high and
low, from the king's palace to the criminal's jail. Games
at cards languished, players at dominoes musingly built
towers with them, drinkers drew figures on the tables
with spilt drops of wine, Madame Defarge herself picked
out the pattern on her sleeve with her toothpick, and
saw and heard something inaudible and invisible a long
Thus, Saint Antoine in this vinous feature of his, until
mid-day. It was high noontide, when two dusty men
passed through his streets and under his swinging lamps:
of whom, one was Monsieur Defarge: the other, a men-
der of roads in a blue cap. All adust and athirat, the
two entered the wine-shop. Their arrival had lighted a
kind of fire in the breast of Saint Antoine, fast spread-
ing as they came along, which stirred and flickered iu
flames of faces at most doors and windows. Yet no one
had followed them, and no man spoke when they entered
the wine-shop, though the eyes of every man there were
turned upon them.
" Good-day, gentlemen ! " said Monsieur Defarge.
It may have been a signal for loosening the general
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 225
tongue. It elicited an answering chorus ■ of " Good-
" It is bad weather, gentlemen,'* said Defarge, shaking
Upon which, every man looked at his neighbor, and
then all cast down their eyes and sat silent. Except one
man, who got up and went out
" My wife," said Defarge, aloud, addressing Madame
Defarge, "I have travelled certain leagues with this
good mender of roads, called Jacques. I met him — by
accident — a day and a half's journey out of Paris. He
is a good child, this mender of roads, called Jacques.
Give him to drink, my wife I "
A second man got up and went out. Madame De-
farge set wine before the mender of roads called Jacques,
who doffed his blue cap to the company, and drank. In
the breast of bis blouse, he carried some coarse dark
bread; he ate of this between whiles, and sat munching
and drinking near Madame Defarge's counter. A. third
man got up and went out.
Defarge refreshed himself with a draught of wine, —
but he took less than was given to the stranger, as being
himself a man to whom it was no rarity, — and stood
waiting until the countryman had made his breakfast.
He looked at no one present, and no one now looked at
him j not even Madame Defarge, who had taken up her
knitting, and was at work.
" Have you finished your repast, friend ? " he asked,
in due season.
" Tes, thank you."
" Come then ; you shall see the apartment that I told
you you could occupy. It will suit you to a marvel."
Out of the wine-shop into the street, out of the street
226 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
into a court-yard, out of the court-yard up a steep stair-
case, out of the staircase into a garret, — formerly the
garret where a white-haired man sat on a low bench,
stooping forward and very busy, making shoes.
No white-haired man was there now ; but the three
men were there who had gone out of the wine-shop
singly. And between them and the white-haired man
afar off, was the one small link, that they had once looked
in at him through the chinks in the wall.
Defarge closed the door carefully, and spoke in a sub-
dued voice :
" Jacques One, Jacques Two, Jacques Three ! This
is the witness encountered by appointment, by me,
Jacques Four. He will tell you all. Speak, Jacques
The mender of roads, blue cap in hand, wiped his
swarthy forehead with it, and said, "Where shall I com-
" Commence," was Monsieur Defarge's not unreason-
able reply, "at the commencement."
" I saw bim then, messieurs," began the mender of
roads, " a year ago this running summer, underneath the
carriage of the Marquis, hanging by the chain. Behold
the manner of it. I leaving my work on the road, the
sun going to bed, the carriage of the Marquis slowly
ascending the hill, he banging by the chain — like this."
Again the mender of roads went through the old per-
formance; in which he ought to have been perfect by
that time, seeing that it had been the infallible resource
and indispensable entertainment of his village during &
Jacques One struck in, and asked if he had ever seen
the man before?
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 227
" Never," answered the mender of roads, recovering
Jacques Three demanded how he afterwards recog-
nized him then?
" By his tall figure," said the mender of roads, softly,
and with his finger at his nose. " When Monsieur the
Marquis demands that evening, ' Say, what is he like ? '
I make response, ' Tall as a spectre.' "
" You should have said, short as a dwarf," returned
" But what did I know ! The deed was not then ac-
complished, neither did he confide in me. Observe 1
Under those circumstances even, I do not offer my testi-
mony. Monsieur the Marquis indicates me with his
finger, standing near our little fountain, and says, ' To
me ! Bring that rascal ! ' My faith, messieurs, I offer
" He is right there, Jacques," murmured Defarge, to
him who had interrupted. " Go on ! "
" Good 1 " said the mender of roads, with an air of
mystery. " The tall man is lost, and he is sought — how
many months ? Nine, ten, eleven ? "
"No matter, the number," said Defarge. "He is well
hidden, but at last be is unluckily found. Go on ! "
" I am again at work upon the hill-side, and the sun
is again about to go to bed. I am collecting my tools to
descend to my cottage down in the village below, where
it is already dark, when I raise my .eyes, and see coming
over the hill, six soldiers. In the midst of them is a tall
man, with his arms hound — tied to his sides, like this 1 "
With the aid of his indispensable cap, he represented
a man with his elbows bound fast at his hips, with cords
that were knotted behind him.
228 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
" I stand aside, messieurs, by 017 heap of stones, to
see the soldiers and their prisoner pass (for it is a soli-
tary road, that, where any spectacle is well worth look-
ing at), and at first, as they approach, I see no more
than that they are six soldiers with a tall man bound,
and that they are almost black, to my sight — except on
the side of the sun going to .bed, where they have a red
edge, messieurs. Also, I see that their long shadows
are on the hollow ridge on the opposite side of the road,
and are on the hill above it, and are like the shadows of
giants. Also, I see that they are covered with dust, and
that the dust moves with them as they come, tramp,
tramp! But when they advance quite near to me, I
recognise the tall man, and he recognises me. Ah, but
he would be well content to precipitate himself over the
hill-side once again, as on the evening when he and I
first encountered, close to the same spot!"
He described it as if he were there, and it was evi-
dent that he saw it vividly ; perhaps he had not seen
much in his life.
" I do not show the soldiers that I recognize the tall
man ■, he does not show the soldiers that he recognizes
me ; we do it, and we know it, with our eyes. ' Come
on ! ' eays the chief of that company, pointing to the
village, 'bring him fast to his tomb!' and they bring
him faster. I follow. His arms are swelled because of
being bound so tight, his wooden shoes are large and
clumsy, and he is lame. Because he is lame, and con-
sequently slow, they drive him with their guns — like
He imitated the action of a man's being impelled for-
ward by the butt-ends of muskets.
"As they descend the hill like madmen running a
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 229
race, he falls. They laugh and pick him up again. His
face is bleeding and covered with dust, but he cannot
touch it ; thereupon, they laugh again. They bring him
into the village ; all the village runs to look ; they take
him past the mill, and up to the prison ; all the village
sees the prison gate open is the darkness of the night,
and swallow him — like this!"
He opened his mouth as wide as he could, and shut it
with a sounding snap of his teeth. Observant of his .
unwillingness to mar the effect by opening it again, De-
ferge said, " Go on, Jacques."
"All the village," pursued the mender of roads, on
tiptoe and in a low voice, " withdraws ; all the vil-
lage whispers by the fountain ; all the village sleeps ;
all the village dreams of that unhappy one, within
the locks and bars of the prison on the crag, and
never to come out of it, except to perish. Id the
morning, with my tools upon my shoulder, eating my
morsel of black bread as I go, I make a circuit by
the prison, on my way to my work. There, I see
him, high up, behind the bars of a lofty iron cage,
bloody and dusty as last night, looking through. He
has no hand free, to wave to me ; I dare not call to
him ; he regards me like a dead man."
Defarge and the three glanced darkly at one an-
other. The looks of all of them were dark, repressed,
and revengeful, as they listened to the countryman's
story ; the manner of all of them, while it was se-
cret was authoritative too. They had the air of a
rough tribunal; Jacques One and Two sitting on the
old pallet-bed, each with his chin resting on his hand,
and his eyes intent on the road mender ; Jacques
Three equally intent, on one knee behind them, with
230 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
his agitated hand always gliding over the net-work of
fine nerves about his mouth and nose ; Defarge stand-
ing between them and the narrator whom he had sta-
tioned in the light of the window, by turns looking
from him to them and from them to him.
" Go on Jacqoes," said Defarge.
" He remains up there in his iron cage, some days.
The village looks at bim by stealth, for it is afraid.
But it always looks up, from a distance, at the prison
on the crag ; and in the evening when the work of
the day is achieved and it assembles to gossip at the
fountain, all faces are turned towards the prison.
Formerly, they were turned towards the posting-
house ; now, (hey are turned towards the prison.
They whisper at the fountain, that although con-
demned to death he will not be executed ; they say
that petitions have been presented in Paris, showing
that he was enraged and made mad by the death of
his child ; they say that a petition has been presented
to the King himself. What do I know ? It is possi-
ble. Perhaps yes, perhaps no."
" Listen then, Jacques," Number One of that name -
sternly interposed. " Know that a petition was pre-
sented to the King and Queen. All here, yourself
excepted, saw the King take it, in his carriage in the
street, sitting beside the Queen. It is Defarge whom
you see here, who, at the hazard of his life, darted
out before the horses, with tbe petition in his hand."
" And once again listen, Jacques ! " said the kneel-
ing Number Three : his fingers ever wandering over
and over those fine nerves, with a strikingly greedy
air, as if he hungered for something — that was nei-
ther food nor drink ; " the guard, horse and foot, sur-
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 231
rounded the petitioner, and struck him blows. You
"I hear, messieurs."
" Go on, then," said Defarge.
" Again ; on the other hand,, they whisper at the
fountain," resumed the countryman, " that be is brought
down into our country to be executed on the spot, and
that he will very certainly be executed. They even
whisper that because he has slain Monseigneur, and
because Monseigneur was the father of his tenants —
serfs — what you will — he will he executed as a
parricide. One old man says at the fountain, that his
right hand, armed with the knife, will be burnt off be-
fore his face ; that, into wounds which will be made in
his arms, bis breast, and his legs, there will be poured
boiling oil, melted lead, hot resin, wax, and sulphur ;
finally, that he will be torn limb from limb by four
strong horses. That old man says, all this was actu-
ally done to a prisoner who made an attempt on the
life of the last King, Louis Fifteen. But how do I
know if he lies ? I am not a scholar."
" Listen once again then, Jacques I " said the man
with the restless hand and the craving air. " The
name of that prisoner was Damiens, and it was all
done in open day, in the open streets of this city of
Paris; and nothing was more noticed in the vast con-
course that saw it done, than the crowd of ladies of
quality and fashion, who were full of eager attention
to the last — to the last, Jacques, prolonged until
nightfall, when he had lost two legs and an arm, and
still breathed! And it was done — why, bow old are
"Thirty-five,'' said the mender of roads, who looked
282 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
" It was done when you were more than ten years
old ; you might have seen it,"
" Enough ! " said Defarge, with grim impatience.
" Long live the Devil I Go on."
" Well 1 Some whisper this, some whisper that ; they
speak of nothing else ; even the fountain appears to
fall to that tune. At length, on Sunday night when
all the village is asleep, come soldiers, winding down
from the prison, and their guns ring on the stones
of the little street Workmen dig, workmen hammer,
soldiers laugh and sing; in the morning, by the foun-
tain, there is raised a gallows forty feet high, poison-
ing the water."
The mender of roads looked through rather than at
the low ceiling, and pointed as if he saw the gallows
somewhere in the sky. ■
" All work is stopped, all assemble there, nobody
leads the cows out, the cows are there with the rest.
At mid-day, the roll of drums. Soldiers have marched
into the prison in the night, and he is in the midst of
many soldiers. He is bound as before, and in his
mouth there is a gag — tied so, with a tight string,
making him look almost as if he laughed." He sug-
gested it, by creasing his face with his two thumbs,
from the comers of his mouth to his ears. " On the
top of the gallows is fixed the knife, blade upwards,
with its point in the air. He is hanged there forty
feet high — and is left hanging, poisoning the water."
They looked at one another, as he used his blue
cap to wipe his face, on which the perspiration had
started afresh while he recalled the spectacle.
" It is frightful, messieurs. How can the women
and the children draw water ! Who can gossip of an
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 238
evening, under that shadow 1 Under it, bate I said?
When I left the village, Monday evening an the sun
was going to bed, and looked back from the hill, the
shadow struck across the church, across the mill, across
the prison — seemed to strike across the earth, mes-
sieurs, to where the sky rests upon it ! "
The hungry man gnawed one of his fingers as he
looked at the other three, and his finger quivered
with the craving that was on him.
"That's all, messieurs. I left at sunset (as I had
been warned to do), and I walked on, that night and
half next day, until I met (as I was warned I should)
this comrade. With him, I came on, now riding and
now walking, through the rest of yesterday and through
last night And here you see me!"
After a gloomy silence, the. first Jacques said, " Good I
You have acted and recounted, faithfully, Will yon
wait for us a little, outside the door ? "
" Very willingly," said the mender of roads. Whom
Defarge escorted to the top of the stairs, and, leaving
seated there, returned.
The three had risen, and their heads were together
when he came back to the garret.
" How say you, Jacques ? " demanded Number One.
" To be registered ? "
"To be registered, as doomed to destruction," returned
" Magnificent ! " croaked the man with the craving.
" The chateau, and all the race ? " inquired the first.
"The chateau and all the race," returned Defarge.
The hungry man repeated, in a rapturous croak, " Mag-
nificent ! " and began gnawing another finger.
234 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
" Are you sure," asked Jacques Two, of Defarge, " that
no embarrassment can arise from oar manner of keeping
the register. Without doubt it is safe, for no one beyond
ourselves can decipher it ; but shall we always be able
to decipher it — or, I ought to say, will she ? "
"Jacques," returned Defarge, drawing himself up, "if
madame my wife undertook to keep the register in her
memory alone, she would not lose a word of it — not a
syllable of it. Knitted, in her own stitches and her own
symbols, it will always be as plain to her as the sun.
Confide in Madame Defarge. It would be easier for the
weakest poltroon that lives, to erase himself from exist-
ence, than to erase one letter of his name or crimes from
the knitted register of Madame Defarge."
There was a murmur of confidence and approval, and
then the man who hungered, asked : " Is this rustic to be
sent back soon ? I hope so. He is very simple ; is he
not a little dangerous ? "
" He knows nothing," said Defarge ; " at least nothing
more than wonld easily elevate himself to a gallows of
the same height. I charge myself with him ; let him
remain with me ; I will take care of him, and set him
on his road. He wishes to see the fine world — the King,
the Queen, and Court ; let him see them on Sunday."
"What?" exclaimed the hungry man, staring. "Is
it a good sign, that he wishes to see Royalty and Nobil-
ity ? "
" Jacques," said Defarge ; "judiciously show a cat
milk, if you wish her to thirst for it Judiciously show
a dog his natural prey, if you wish him to bring it down
Nothing more was said, and the mender of roads, being
found already dozing on the topmost stair, was advised
A TALE OF TWO CTTIE3. 235
to lay himself down on the pallet-bed and take some rest.
He needed no persuasion, and was soon asleep.
Worse quarters than Defarge's wine-shop, could easily
have been found in Fans for a provincial slave of that
degree. Saving for a mysterious dread of madame by
which he was constantly haunted, his life was very new
and agreeable. But, madame sat all day at her counter,
so expressly unconscious of bim, and so particularly de-
termined not to perceive that his being there had any
connection with anything below the surface, that he
shook in his wooden shoes whenever his eye lighted on
her. For, he contended with himself that it was impos-
sible to foresee what that lady might pretend next ; and
he felt assured that if she should take it into her brightly
ornamented head to pretend that- she had seen him do
a murder and afterwards fay the victim, she would in-
fallibly go through with it until the play was played
Therefore, when Sunday came, the mender of roads
was not enchanted (though he said he was) to find that
madame was to accompany monsieur and himself to Ver-
sailles. It was additionally disconcerting to have madame
knitting all the way there, in a public conveyance ; it was
additionally disconcerting yet, to have madame in the
crowd in the afternoon, still with her knitting in her
hands as the crowd waited to see the carriage of the
King and Queen.
" You work hard, madame," said a man near her.
" Yes," answered Madame Defarge ; " I have a good
deal to do."
" What do you make, madame ? "
" Many things."
" For ii
286 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
" For instance," returned Madame Defarge, composedly,
The man moved a little farther away, as soon as he
could, and the mender of roads fanned himself with his
blue cap ; feeling it mightily close and oppressive. If
he needed a King and Queen to restore him, he was for-
tunate in having his remedy at band ; for, soon the large-
faced King and the fair-faced Queen came in their golden
coach, attended by the shining Bull's Eye of their Court,
a glittering multitude of laughing ladies and fine lords ;
and in jewels and silks and powder and splendor and ele-
gantly spurning figures and handsomely disdainful faces
of both sexes, the mender of roads bathed himself, so
much to his temporary intoxication, that he cried Long
live the King, Long live the Queen, Long live everybody
and everything 1 as if be had never heard of ubiquitous
Jacques in his time. Then, there were gardens, court-
yards, terraces, fountains, green banks, more King and
Queen, more Bull's Eye, more lords and ladies, more
Long live they all ! until he absolutely wept with senti-
ment During the whole of this scene, which lasted
some three hours, he had plenty of shouting and weep-
ing and sentimental company, and throughout Defarge
held him by the collar, as if to restrain him from flying
at the objects of bis brief devotion and tearing them
" Bravo I" said Defarge, clapping him on the back
when it was over, like a patron ; " you are a good boy ! "
The mender of roads waa now coming to himself, and
was mistrustful of having made a mistake in his late
demonstrations ; but no.
" You are the fellow we want," said Defarge, in his
ear; "you make these fools believe that it will last for-
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 237
ever.' Then, they are the more insolent, and it is the
" Hey ! " cried the mender of roads, reflectively ;
" that's true."
H These fools know nothing. While they despise your
breath, and would stop it forever and ever, in you or in
.. a hundred like you rather than in one of their own
horses or dogs, they only know what your breath tells
them. Let it deceive them, then, a little longer ; it can-
not deceive them too much."
Madame Deforge looked superciliously at the client,
and nodded in confirmation.
"As to you," said she, "you would shout and shed
tears for anything, if it made a show and a noise. Say !
Would you not ? "
" Truly, madame, I think so. For the moment."
" If you were shown a great heap of dolla, and were
set upon them to pluck them to pieces and despoil them
for your own advantage, yon would pick out the richest
and gayest Say I Would yon not ? "
" Truly yes, madame."
" Yes. And if you were shown a flock of birds un-
able to fly, and were set upon them to strip them of
their feathers for your own advantage, you would set
upon the birds of the finest feathers ; would you not ? "
" It is true, madame."
" You have seen both dolls and birds to-day," said
Madame Defarge, with a wave of her band towards
the place where they had last been apparent ; " now,
go home ! "
■- TWO CITIES.
Madame Defargk and monsieur her husband re-
turned amicably to the bosom of Saint Antoine, while
a speck in a blue cap toiled through the darkness, and
through the dust, and down the weary miles of avenue
by the way-side, slowly tending towards that point of
the compass where the chateau of Monsieur the Marquis,
now in his grave, listened to the whispering trees. Such
ample leisure had the stone faces, now, for listening to
the trees and to the fountain, that the few village scare-
crows who, in their quest for herbs to eat and fragments
of dead stick to burn, strayed within sight of the great
stone court-yard and terrace staircase, had it borne in
upon their starved fancy that the expression of the facea
was altered. A rumor just lived in the village — had
a faint and bare existence there, as its people had —
that when the knife struck home, the faces changed, from
faces of pride to faces of anger and pain ; also, that when
that dangling figure was hauled up forty feet above the
fountain, they changed again, and bore a cruel look of
being avenged, which they would henceforth bear for-
ever. In the stone face over the great window of the
bedchamber where the murder was done, two fine dints
were pointed out in the sculptured nose, which every-
body recognized, and which nobody had seen of old ;
and on the scarce occasions when two or three ragged
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 239
peasants emerged from the crowd to take a hurried peep
at Monsieur the Marquis petrified, a skinn y finger would
not have pointed to it for a minute, before they all started
away among the moss and leaves, like the more fortu-
nate hares who could find a living there.
Chateau and hut, stone face and dangling figure, the
red stain on the stone floor and the pure water in the
village well — thousands of acres of land — a whole
province of France — all France itself — lay under the
night sky, concentrated into a faint hair-breadth line.
So does a whole world with all its greatnesses and lit-
tlenesses, lie in a twinkling star. And as mere human
knowledge can split a ray of light and analyze the man-
ner of its composition, so, sublimer intelligences may
read in the feeble shining of this earth of ours, every
thought and act, every vice and virtue, of every re-
sponsible creature on it.
The Defarges, husband and wife, came lumbering un-
der the starlight, in their public vehicle, to that gate of
Paris whereunto their journey naturally tended. There
was the usual stoppage at the barrier guard-house, and
the usual lanterns came glancing forth for the usual
examination and inquiry. Monsieur Defarge alighted ;
knowing one or two of the soldiery there, and one of
the police. The latter be was intimate with, and affec-
When Saint Antoine had again enfolded the Defarges
in his dusky wings, and they, having finally alighted
near the Saint's boundaries, were picking their way on
foot through the black mud and offal of his streets,
Madame Defarge spoke to her husband :-
" Say then, my friend ; what did Jacques of the po-
lice tell thee ? "
240 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
"Very little to-night, bat all he knows. There is
another spy commission for our quarter. There may
be many more, for all that he can say, but he knows
" Eh welll" said Madame Defarge, raising her eye-
brows with a cool business air. "It is necessary to
register him. How do they call that man?"
" He is English."
■ So much the better. His name ? "
"Barsad," said Defarge, making it French by pro-
nunciation. But, he had been so careful to get it ac-
curately, that he then spelt it with perfect correctness.
" Barsad," repeated madame. " Good. Christian
name ? "
" John Barsad," repeated madame, after murmuring
it once to herself. " Good. His appearance ; is it
" Age, about forty years ; height, about five feet nine ;
black hair ; complexion dark ; generally, rather handsome
visage ; eyes dark, face thin, long, and sallow ; nose
aquiline, but not straight, having a peculiar inclination
towards the left cheek ; expression, therefore, sinister."
" Eh my faith. It is a portrait 1 " said madame, laugh-
ing. " He shall be registered to-morrow."
They turned into the wine-shop, which was closed
(for it was midnight), and where Madame Defarge im-
mediately took her post at her desk, counted the small
moneys that had been taken during her absence, ex-
amined the stock, went through the entries in the book,
made other entries of her own, checked the aerving-man
in every possible way, and finally dismissed him to bed.
Then she turned out the contents of the bowl of money
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 241
for the second time, and began knotting them up in her
handkerchief, in a chain of separate knots, for safe keep-
ing through the night All this while, Defarge, with
his pipe in his mouth, walked up and down, compla-
cently admiring, but never interfering; in which con-
dition, indeed, as to the business and his domestic affairs,
he walked up and down through life.
The night was hot, and the shop, close shut and sur-
rounded by so foul a neighborhood, was ill-smelling.
Monsieur Defarge's olfactory sense was by no means
delicate, but the stock of wine smelt much stronger than
it ever tasted, and so did the stock of rum and brandy
and aniseed. He whiffed the compound of scents away,
as he put down his smoked-out pipe.
* You are fatigued," said madame, raising her glanee
as she knotted the money. " There are only the usual
" I am a little tired," her husband acknowledged.
" You are a little depressed, too," said madame, whose
quick eyes had never been so intent on the accounts,
but they had had a ray or two for him. " Oh, the men,
the men 1 "
" But my dear," began Defarge.
" But my dear ! " repeated madame, nodding firmly ;
"but my dear! You are faint of heart to-night, my
"Well, then," said Defarge, as if a thought were
wrung out of his breast, " it u a long time."
"It is a long lime," repeated hia wife ; "and when is
it not a long time ? Vengeance and retribution require
a long time ; it is the rule."
" It does not take a long time to strike a man with
Lightning," said Defarge.
242 A TALE OP TWO CITIES.
"How long," demanded madame, composedly, "does
it take to make and store the lightning ? Tell me ? "
Defarge raised his forehead thoughtfully, as if there
were something in that, too.
" It does not take a long time," said madame, " for an
earthquake to swallow a town. Eh well 1 Till me how
long it takes to prepare the earthquake ? "
"A long time, I suppose," said Defarge.
" But when it is ready, it takes place, and grinds to
pieces everything before it In the mean time, it is al-
ways preparing, though it is not seen or heard. That is
your consolation. Keep it."
She tied a knot with flashing eyes, as if it throttled a
" I tell thee," said madame, extending her right hand,
for emphasis, " that although it is a long time on the
road, it is on the road and coming. I tell thee it never
retreats, and never stops. I tell thee it is always ad-
vancing. Look around and consider the lives of all the
world that we know, consider the faces of all the world
that we know, consider the rage and discontent to which
the Jacquerie addresses itself with taore and more of
certain ty every hour. Can such things last ? Bah ! I
mock you." 1
" My brave wife," returned Defarge, standing before
her with his head a little bent, and his hands clasped at
his back, like a docile and attentive pupil before his
catecbist, " I do not question all this. But it has lasted
a long time, and it is possible — you know well, my wife,
it is possible — that it may not come, during our lives."
"Eh well! How then?" demanded madame, tying
another knot, as if there were another enemy strangled.
" Well ! " said Defarge, with a half complaining and
A TALE OF TWO CITIES^ 243
half apologetic shrug. " We shall not Bee the tri-
" We shall have helped it," returned madame, with
her extended hand in strong action. " Kothing that wo
do, is done in vain. I believe, with all my soul, that we
shall see the triumph. But even if not, even if I knew
certainly not, show me the neck of an aristocrat and ty-
rant, and still I would "
There madame, with her teeth set, tied a very terrible
" Hold ! " cried Defarge, reddening a little as if he
felt charged with cowardice ; " I too, my dear, will stop
" Yes I But it is your weakness that you sometimes
need to see your victim and your opportunity, to sustain
you. Sustain yourself without that When the time
comes, let loose a tiger and a devil ; but wait for the
time with the tiger and the devil chained — not shown
— yet always ready."
Madame enforced the conclusion of this piece of ad-
vice by striking her little counter with her chain of money
as if she knocked its brains out, and then gathering the
heavy handkerchief under her arm in a serene manner,
and observing that it was time to go to bed.
Next noontide saw the admirable woman in her usual
place in the wine-shop, knitting away assiduously. A
rose lay beside her, and if she now and then glanced at
the flower, it was with no infraction of her usual preoccu-
pied air. There were a few customers, drinking or not
drinking, standing or seated, sprinkled about. The day
was very hot, and heaps of flies, who were extending
their inquisitive and adventurous perquisitions into all
the glutinous little glasses near madame, fell dead at
244 A TALE OF TWO CTTIES.
the bottom. Their decease made no impression on the
other flies out promenading, who looked at them in the
coolest manner (as if they themselves were elephants,
or something as far removed), until they met the same
fate. Curions to consider how heedless flies are! —
perhaps they thought as much at Court that sunny sum-
A figure entering at the door threw a shadow on
Madame Defarge which she felt to be a new one. She
laid down her knitting, and began to pin her rose in her
head-dress, before she looked at the figure.
It was curious. The moment Madame Defarge took
up the rose, the customers ceased talking, and began
gradually to drop out of the wine-shop.
" Good-day, madame," said the new comer.
" Good-day, monsieur."
She said it aloud, but added to herself, as she resumed
her knitting : " Hah 1 Good-day, age about forty, height
about five feet nine, black hair, generally rather hand-
some visage, complexion dark, eyes dark, thin long and
sallow face, aquiline nose but not straight, having a
peculiar inclination towards the left cheek which imparts
a sinister expression 1 Good-day, one and all ! "
" Have the goodness to give me a little glass of old
cognac, and a mouthful of cool fresh water, madame."
Madame complied with a polite air.
11 Marvellous cognac (his, madame ! "
It was the first time it had ever been so complimented,
and Madame Defarge knew enough of its antecedents
to know better. She said, however, that the cognac was
flattered, and took up her knitting. The visitor watched
her fingers for a few moments, and took the opportunity
of observing the place in general.
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 215
" You knit with great skill, madame."
" I am accustomed to it."
" A pretty pattern too ! "
« You think so 7" said madame, looking at him with
" Decidedly. May one ask what it is for ? "
" Pastime," said madame, still looking at him with a
smile, while her fingers moved nimbly.
" Not for nae ? "
" That depends. I may find a nse for it, one day. If
I do well," said madame, drawing a breath and nod-
ding her head with a stem kind of coquetry, " 111 nse
it ! "
It was remarkable ; but, the taste of Saint Antoine
seemed to be decidedly opposed to a rose on the head-
dress of Madame Defarge. Two men bad entered sep-
arately, and had been about to order drink, when, catch-
ing sight of that novelty, they faltered, made a pretence
of looking about as if for some friend who was not there,
and went away. Nor, of those who had been there when
this visitor entered, was there one left. They had all
dropped off. The spy had kept his eyes open, but had
been able to detect no sign. They had lounged away in
a poverty-stricken, purposeless, accidental manner, quite
natural and unimpeachable.
" John," thought madame, checking off her work as
her fingers knitted, and ber eyes looked at the stranger.
" Stay long enough, and I shall knit ' Barsad ' before
you go." #
" You have a husband, madame ? "
" I have."
« Children ? "
" No children."
246 A TALE OF TWO CITIE&
" Business seems bad ? "
"Business is very bad; the people are so poor."
" Ah, the unfortunate, miserable people ! So oppressed
too. — as you say."
" As you say," madame retorted, correcting him, and
deftly knitting an extra something into his name that
boded him no good.
" Pardon me ; certainly it was I who said so, but you
naturally think so. Of course."
" / think ? " returned madame, in a high voice. " I
and my husband have enough to do to keep this wine-shop
open, without thinking. All we think, here, is, how to
live. That is the subject we think of, and it gives us,
from morning to night, enough to think about, without
embarrassing our heads concerning others. 1 think for
others ? No, no."
The spy, who was there to pick up any crumbs he
could find or make, did not allow his baffled state to ex-
press itself in his sinister face ; but stood with an air of
gossiping gallantry, leaning his elbow on Madame De-
farge's little counter, and occasionally sipping his cognac.
" A bad business, this, madame, of Gaspard's execu-
tion. Ah I the poor Gaspard ! " With a sigh of great
" My faith ! " returned madame, coolly and lightly j
" if people use knives for such purposes, they have to
pay for it He knew beforehand what the price of his
luxury was ; he has paid the price."
■ "I believe," said the spy, dropping his soft voice to a
tone that invited confidence, and expressing an injured
revolutionary susceptibility in every muscle of his Wicked
face : " I believe there is much compassion and anger in
this neighborhood, touching the poor fellow ? Between
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 847
" Is there ? " asked madame, vacantly,
" Is there not ? "
— " Here is my husband ! " said Madame Defarge.
As the keeper of the wine-shop entered at the door,
the spy saluted him by touching his hat, and saying, with
an engaging smile, " Good-day, Jacques 1 " Defarge
stopped short, and stared at him.
"Good-day, Jacques!" the spy repeated; with not
qnite so much confidence, or quite so easy a smile under
" You deceive yourself, monsieur," returned the keeper
of the wine-shop. " You mistake me for another. That
is not my name. I am Ernest Defarge."
" It is all the same," said the spy, airily, but discom-
fited too ; " good-day ! "
" Good-day ! " answered Defarge, dryly.
" I was saying to madame, with whom I had the pleas-
ure of chatting when you entered, that they tell me there
is — and no wonder ! — much sympathy and anger in
Saint Antoine, touching the unhappy fate of poor Gas-
" No one has told me so," said Defarge, shaking his
head ; " I know nothing of it"
Having said it, he passed behind the little counter, and
stood with his hand on the back of his wife's chair, look-
ing over that barrier at the person to whom they were
both opposed, and whom either of them would have shot
with the greatest satisfaction.
The spy, well used to his business, did not change his
unconscious attitude, but drained his little glass of cognac,
took a sip of fresh water, and asked for another glass of
cognac Madame Defarge poured it out tor him, took
to her knitting again, and hummed a little song over it.
248 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
" You seem to know this quarter well ; that is to say,
better than I do ? " observed Defarge.
" Not at all, but I bope to know it better. I am so
profoundly interested in its miserable inhabitants."
" Hah ! " mattered Defarge.
" The pleasure of conversing with you, Monsieur De-
farge, recalls to me," pursued the spy, "that I have the
honor of cherishing some interesting associations with
" Indeed P " said Defarge, with much indifference.
"Yes indeed. When Doctor Manette was released,
you, his old domestic, had the charge of him, I know.
He was delivered to you. You see I am informed of the
circumstances ? "
" Such is the met, certainly," said Defarge. He had
had it conveyed to him, in an accidental touch of his
wife's elbow as she knitted and warbled that he would
do beat to answer, but always with brevity.
* It was to you," said the spy, " that his daughter
came ; and it was from your care that his daughter took
him, accompanied by a neat brown monsieur; how is he
called — in a little wig — Lorry — of the bank of Tell-
son and Company — over to England."
' " Sucb is the fact," repeated Defarge.
" Very interesting remembrances I " said the spy. " I
have known Doctor Manette and his daughter, in Eng-
" Yes F " said Defarge.
" You don't hear much about them now," said the spy.
" No," said Defarge.
" In effect," madame struck in, looking up from her
work and her little song, " we never hear about them.
We received the news of their safe arrival, and perhaps
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 249
another letter or perhaps two ; but since then, they have
gradually taken their road in life — we, ours — and we
have held no correspondence."
"Perfectly so, madame," replied the spy. "She is
going to be married."
" Going ? " echoed madame. " She was pretty enough
to have been married long ago. Tou English are cold,
it seems to me."
" Oh I Tou know I am English ? "
" I perceive your tongue is," returned madame : " and
what the tongue is, I suppose the man is."
He did not take the identification as a compliment ;
but, he made the best of it, and turned it off with a
laugh. After sipping his cognac to the end, he added :
" Tes, Miss Manette is going to be married. But not
to an Englishman ; to one who, like herself, is French by
birth. And speaking of Gaspard (ah, poor Gaspard I
It was cruel, cruel!), it is a curious thing that she is
going to marry the nephew of Monsieur the Marquis,
for whom Gaspard was exalted to that height of so many
feet ; in other words, the present Marquis. But he lives
unknown in England, he is no Marquis there ; he is Mr.
Charles Darnay. D'AuInais is the name of his mother's
Madame Defarge knitted steadily, but the intelligence
had a palpable effect upon her husband. Do what he
would, behind the little counter, as to the striking of a
light and the lighting of his pipe, he was troubled, and
his hand was not trustworthy. The spy would have been
no spy, if he had failed to see it, or to record it in his
Having made, at least, this one bit, whatever it might
prove to be worth, and no customers coming in to help
250 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
him to any other, Mr. Barsad paid lor what he had
drunk, and took his leave ; taking occasion to say, in a
genteel manner, before he departed, that he looked for-
ward to the pleasure of seeing Monsieur and Madame
Defarge again. For some minutea after he had emerged
into the outer presence of Saint Antoine, the husband
and wife remained exactly as he had left them, lest he
should come back.
" Can it be true," said Defarge, in a low voice, looking
down at his wife as he stood smoking with his hand on
the back of her chair ; " what he has said of Ma'm'selle
Manette ? "
"As he has aaid it," returned madame, lifting her
eyebrows a little, " it is probably false. But it may be
" If it is " Defarge began ; and stopped.
" If it is ? " repeated his wife.
— "And if it does come, while we live to see it
triumph — I hope, for her sake, Destiny will keep her
husband out of France." -
" Her husband's destiny," said Madame Defarge, with
her usual composure, " will take him where he is to go,
and will lead him to the end that is to end him. That
is all I know."
" But it is very strange — now, at least is it not very
strange," — said Defarge, rather pleading with his wife
to induce her to admit it, " that, after all our sympathy for
Monsieur her father and herself, her husband's name
should be proscribed under your hand at this moment, by
the Eide of that infernal dog's who has just left us ? "
" Stranger things than that will happen when it does"
come," answered madame. " I have them both here, of
a certainty; and they are both here for their merits;
that is enough."
D. g ,t.z«i ^ Google
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 251
She rolled up her knitting when she had said those
words, and presently took the rose out of the handker-
chief that was wound about her head. Either Saint
Antoine had an instinctive sense that the objectionable
decoration was gone, or Saint Antoine was on the watch
for its disappearance ; howbeit, the Saint took courage
to lounge in, very shortly afterwards, and the wine-shop
recovered its habitual aspect.
In the evening, at which season of all others, Saint
Antoine turned himself inside out, and sat on door-steps
, and window-ledges, and came to the corners of vile streets
and courts, for a breath of air, Madame Defarge with
her work in her hand was accustomed to pass from place
to place and from group to group ; a Missionary — there
were many like her — such as the world will do well
never to breed again. All the women knitted. They
knitted worthless things; but, the mechanical work was
a mechanical substitute for eating and drinking ; the
hands moved for the jaws and the digestive apparatus j
if the bony fingers bad been still, the stomachs would
have been more famine-pinched.
But, as the fingers went, the eyes went, and the
thoughts. And as Madame Defarge moved on from
group to group, all three went quicker and fiercer
among every little knot of women that she had spoken
with, and left behind.
Her husband smoked at his door, looking after her
with admiration. " A great woman," said he, * a strong
woman, a grand woman, a frightfully grand woman ! "
Darkness closed around, and then came the ringing
of church bells and the distant beating of the drums of
the Royal Guard, as the women sat knitting, knitting.
Darkness encompassed them. Another darkness was
252 A TAXE OF TWO CITTEg.
closing in as surely, when the church bells, then ringing
pleasantly in many an airy steeple over France, should
be melted into thundering cannon ; when the drums should
be beating to drown a wretched voice, that night all
potent as the voice of Power and Plenty, Freedom and
Life. So much was closing in about the women who eat
knitting, knitting, that they their very selves were closing
in around a structure yet unbuilt, where they were to sit
knitting, knitting, counting dropping heads.
A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
Never did the sun go down with a brighter glory on
the quiet corner in Soho, than one memorable evening
when the Doctor and hia daughter sat under the plane-
tree together. Never did the moon rise with a milder
radiance over great London, than on that night when it
found them still seated under the tree, and shone upon
their faces through its leaves.
Lucie was to be married to-morrow. She had re-
served this last evening for her father, and they sat
alone under the plane-tree.
"You are happy, my dear father?"
" Quite, my child."
They had said little, though they had been there a
long time. When it was yet light enough to work and
read, she had neither engaged herself in her usual work,
nor had she read to him. She had employed herself in
both ways, at his side under the tree, many and many a
time ; but this time was not quite like any other, and
nothing could make it so.
" And I am very happy to-night, dear father. I am
deeply happy in the love that Heaven has so blessed —
my love for Charles, and Charles's love for me. But, if
my life were not to be still consecrated to you, or if my
marriage were so arranged as that it would part us, even
251 A TALE OF TWO CITIE8.
by the length of a few of these street?, I should be more
unhappy and self-reproachful now, than I can tell you.
Even aait is"
Even as it was, she could not command her voice.
lu the sad moonlight, she clasped him by the neck,
and laid her face upon his breast. In the moonlight
which 19 always sad, as the light of the sun itself is, —
as the light called human life is, — at its coming and its
" Dearest dear I Can you tell me, this last time, that
you feel quite, quite sure no new affections of mine, and
no new duties of mine, will ever interpose between us?
/know it well, but do you know it? In your own
heart, do you feel quite certain?'*
Her father answered, with a cheerful firmness of con-
viction he could scarcely have assumed, " Quite sure,
my darling ! More than that," he added, as he tenderly
kissed her, " my future is far brighter, Lucie, seen
through your marriage, than it could have been — nay,
than it ever was — without it."
" If I could hope thai, my father ! "
" Believe it, love 1 Indeed, it is so. Consider how
natural and how plain it is, my dear, that it should be
60. Tou, devoted and young, cannot freely appreciate
the anxiety I have felt that your life should not be
She moved her hand towards his lips, but he took it
in his, and repeated the word.
— " wasted, my child — should not be wasted, struck
aside from the natural order of things, for my sake.
Tour unselfishness cannot entirely comprehend how
much my mind has gone on this ; but, only ask yourself,
how could my happiness be perfect, while yours was
incomplete ? " .
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 256
" If I had never seen Charles, my father, I should
have been quite happy with you."
He smiled at her unconscious admission that she
would have been unhappy without Charles, having seen
him, and replied :
" My child, you did see him, and it is Charles. If it
had not been Charles, it would have been another. Or,
if it had been no other, I should have been the cause,
and then the dark part of my life would have cast its
shadow beyond myself, and would have fallen on you."
It was the first time, except at the trial, of her ever
hearing him refer to the period of his suffering. It gave
her a strange and new sensation while his words were
in her ears ; and she remembered it long afterwards.
" See ! " said the Doctor of Beauvais, raising his
hand towards the moon. " I have looked at her, from
my prison-window, when I could not bear her light. I
have looked at her, when it has been such torture to me
to think of her shining upon what I had. lost, that I have
beaten my head against my prison walls. I have looked
at her, in a state so dulled and lethargic, that I have
thought of nothing but the number of horizontal lines I
could draw across her at the full, and the number of per-
pendicular lines with which I could intersect them." He
added, in his inward and pondering manner, as he looked
at the moon, "It was twenty either- way, I remember,
and the twentieth was difficult to squeeze in."
The strange thrill with which she heard him go back
to that time, deepened as he dwelt upon it; but, there
was nothing to shock her in the manner of his reference.
He only seemed to contrast his present cheerfulness and
felicity with the dire endurance that was over.
" I have looked at her, speculating thousands of times
256 A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
upon the unborn child from whom I had been rent.
Whether it was alive. Whether it had heen bora alive,
or the poor mother's shock had killed it Whether it
was a sou who would some day avenge his father.
(There was a time in my imprisonment, when my desire
for vengeance was unbearable.) Whether it was a son
who would never know his father's story; who might
even live to weigh the possibility of his father's having
disappeared of his own will and act. Whether it was a
daughter, who would grow to be a woman."
She drew closer to him, and kissed his cheek and his
" I have pictured my daughter, to myself, as perfectly
forgetful of me — rather, altogether ignorant of me, and
unconscious of me. I have cast up the years of her
age, year after year. I have seen her married to a
man who knew nothing of my fate. I have altogether
perished from the remembrance of the living, and in the
next generation my place was a blank."
" My father ! Even to hear that you had such
thoughts of a daughter who never existed, strikes to
my heart as if I had been that child."
" You, Lucie ? It is out of the consolation and res-
toration you have brought to me, that these remembrances
arise, and pass between us and the moon on this last
night. — What did I say, just now?"
" She knew nothing of you. She cared nothing for
" So ! But on other moonlight nights, when the sad-
ness and the silence have touched me in a different way
— have affected me with something as like a sorrowful
sense of peace, as any emotion that had pain for its
foundations could — I have imagined her as coming to
A TALE OP TWO CITIES. 257
me in my cell, and leading me ont into the freedom be-
yond the fortress. I have seen her image in the moon-
light, often, as I now see you; except that I never held
her in my arms ; it stood between the little grated win-
dow and the door. But you understand that that was
not the child I am speaking of?"
"The figure was not; the — the — image; the fancy?"
" No. That was another thing. It stood before my
disturbed sense of sight, but it never moved. The
phantom that my mind pursued was another and more
real child. Of her outward appearance I know no more
than that she was like her mother. The other had that
likeness too — as you bave — but was not the same.
Can you follow me, Lucie ? Hardly, I think ? I doubt
you must have been a solitary prisoner to understand
these perplexed distinctions."
His collected and calm manner could not prevent her
blood from running cold, as he thus tried to anatomize
his old condition.
" In that more peaceful state, I have iipagined her, in
the moonlight, coming to me and taking me out to show
me that the home of her married life was full of her
loving remembrance of her lost father. My picture was
in her room, and I was in her prayers. Her life was
active, cheerful, useful ; but my poor history pervaded it
" I waa that child, my father. I was not half so good,
out in my love that was I."
" And she showed me her children," said the Doctor
of Beauvais, " and they had heard of me, and had beat
taught to pity me. When they passed a prison of the
State, they kept far from its frowning walls, and looked
up at its bars, and spoke in whispers. She could never
258 A TALE OP TWO CITIES.
deliver me ; I imagined that she always brought me
back after showing me such things. But then, blessed
with the relief of tears, I fell upon my knees, and blessed
"I am that child, I hope, my father. Oh, my dear,
my dear, will you bless me as fervently to-morrow ? "
" Lucie, I recall these old troubles in the reason that
I have to-night for loving you better than words can
tell, and thanking God for my great happiness. My
thoughts, when they were wildest, never rose near the
happiness that I have known with you, and that we
have before us."
He embraced her, solemnly commended her to Heav-
en, and humbly thanked Heaven for having bestowed
her on him. By and by, they went into the house.
There was no one bidden to the marriage but Mr.
Lorry ; there was even to be no bridesmaid but the
gaunt Miss Pross. The marriage was to make no
change in their place of residence ; they had been able
to extend it, by taking to themselves the upper rooms
formerly belonging to the apocryphal invisible lodger,
and they desired nothing more.
Doctor Manette was very cheerful at the little supper.
They were only three at table, and Miss Fross made the
third. He regretted that Charles was not there ; was
more than half disposed to object to the loving little
plot that kept him away ; and drank to him affectionately.
So, the time came for him to bid Lucie good-night,
and they separated. But, in the stillness of the third
hour of the morning, Lucie came down-stairs again, and
stole into his room : not free from unshaped fears, be-
All things, however, were in their places; all was
A TALE OF TWO CITIES. 259
quiet ; and he lay asleep, his white hair picturesque on
the untroubled pillow, and his hands lying quiet on the
coverlet. She put her needless candle in the shadow at
a distance, crept up to his bed, and put ber lips to his ;
then leaned over him and looked at him.
Into his handsome face, the bitter waters of captivity
had worn ; but, he covered up their tracks with a deter-
mination so strong, that he held the mastery of them,
even in his sleep. A more remarkable face in its quiet,
resolute, and guarded struggle with an unseen assailant,
was not to be beheld in all the wide dominions of sleep,
She timidly laid ber hand on his dear breast, and put
up a prayer that she might ever be as true to him as her
love aspired to be, and as his sorrows deserved. Then
she withdrew her hand, and kissed his lips once more,
and went away. So, the sunrise came, and the shadows
of the leaves of the plane-tree moved upon his face, as
softly as her lips had moved in praying for him.
■KD OF VOL. I